The world has learned a great deal about the Russian army in recent weeks, not much of which has been virtuous or impressive. In fact, the most alarming piece of knowledge that we’ve gained thus far is that Russian troops are bumbling, sadistic orcs who don’t really like Vlad Putin all that much to begin with.
Now, as if to prove the point that Moscow’s military can’t do anything with any dignity, the Kremlin appears to be targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in an attempt to make civilians suffer through the harsh winters of eastern Europe.
Russian strikes have left half of Ukraine’s battered energy grid in need of repair, as concerns mount about the country’s power supply as winter looms.
Some 10 million Ukrainians were without power Friday, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. That figure accounts for roughly a quarter of Ukraine’s peacetime population — and likely closer to 40% of wartime households.
“Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
The strikes were already having an awful impact.
In the capital, Kyiv — where temperatures were expected to stay below freezing on Friday — mayor Vitali Klitschko called the situation “critical.”
Earlier in the week, Ukrainian authorities discovered that Russian has test fired a “dummy nuke” into Kyiv; a missile equipped with a simulated nuclear warhead that some believe was meant to send a message to the world at large.