Blackouts are caused by Russian attacks, and more people depart Kherson as a result

23 October, KYIV (Reuters) - Russian occupation officials in the southern city of Kherson encouraged residents to flee as Russian missiles struck Ukrainian energy and other installations on Saturday, according to Kyiv.

The Russian strikes, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, were "extremely vast" in scope. He promised that, with assistance from its allies, his military will strengthen an already strong track record of shooting down missiles.

Winter was coming, the war was about to enter its ninth month, and as Russia continued to strike Ukraine's electrical supply, the possibility of freezing agony loomed.

The occupation authorities ordered citizens to leave Kherson, which was the subject of a forceful counterattack by Ukraine against the invasion that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched on February 24.

Occupation authorities said on Telegram that all inhabitants "must immediately evacuate the city and cross to the (east) bank of the Dnipro" due to the stressful situation at the front, the heightened danger of heavy bombardment of the city, and the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Following threats of a Ukrainian effort to retake the city, thousands of citizens have evacuated Kherson.

Reuters observed individuals coming by river boat from Kherson to Oleshky on the opposing side of the Dnipro, carrying goods, luggage, and dogs. A woman was walking a dog and a kid under each arm.

One person remarked, "I really didn't want to (leave), I'm still in employment." "We had planned to stay in this area, but we're not sure anymore."

The Ukrainian military claimed to be gaining progress as its troops advanced south across the area, capturing control of at least two villages that they said Russian troops had left behind. The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, is connected to Ukraine via Kherson.

Iryna Vereshchuk, the deputy prime minister, stated on Telegram: "region of Kherson Added just a bit more. Hold on to hope. Working are the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the reports.

Russia has been bombarding Ukraine's power infrastructure mercilessly since October 10; at least half of its thermal power generation and as much as 40% of the whole system have been affected.

As engineers rushed to repair the network, officials in a number of areas on Saturday reported attacks on energy infrastructure and power outages. Residents were urged by governors to stock up on water.

According to presidential adviser Kyrylo Tymoshenko, more than a million people were without electricity. Power outages continued into the evening in certain areas of Kyiv, and a city official issued a warning that strikes might result in "many days or weeks" without heat or electricity in the Ukrainian capital.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential advisor, said that Moscow intended for the strikes to spark a fresh flood of migrants into Europe, while Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister, claimed on Twitter that the bombings constituted genocide.

Moscow acknowledges attacking the energy sector's infrastructure, but it denies doing so against citizens.

The "latest mass strike," according to Zelenskiy's nightly video message, struck areas in western, central, and southern Ukraine.

"Of course, we lack the technical means to successfully intercept all Russian missiles and strike drones. With the assistance of our partners, I am confident that we will eventually do it. We have already destroyed the bulk of drones and cruise missiles."

He said that on Saturday, Ukrainian soldiers shot down 20 missiles and more than 10 Shahed drones built in Iran. 18 of the 33 missiles that were fired towards Ukraine, according to the air force leadership, were shot down.

There have been no documented modifications to the Nova Kakhovka dam. Zelenskiy pleaded with the West on Friday to caution Moscow from detonating the Russian-controlled Dnipro dam.

As a warning that Moscow would blow up the dam and blame Kyiv, Russia has accused Kiev of rocketing the dam and intending to destroy it. Neither side has shown proof to support its claims.

The Soviet-era construction can keep back 18 cubic kilometers (4.3 cubic miles) of water, which is about equivalent to Utah's Great Salt Lake. Much of the Kherson area may be destroyed if it were to be destroyed. It provides water to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility and Crimea.

The Group of Seven industrial nations on Saturday denounced Russia's abduction of the Zaporizhzhia facility's directors and demanded that Ukraine immediately regain full control of the complex, which was seen as a possible spark for tragedy.

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