Russian troops are continuing their assault in the direction of the eastern city of Bakhmut, Ukraine’s General Staff said on March 10, adding that its forces repulsed “numerous attacks” in the areas of the settlements of Ivanske and Bakhmut during the day.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the fighting in Bakhmut had “escalated,” with a new push by Russian forces to break through Ukrainian defensive lines.
Earlier, technicians worked around the clock to restore electricity in most parts of Ukraine following a devastating wave of Russian strikes, private energy firm DTEK said on March 10.
Electricity was restored in all residential areas of the capital, Kyiv, and all emergency power outages were canceled, DTEK said on March 10.
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“At 12:47 p.m., electricity was restored to all residents of the capital, so the scheduled stabilization shutdowns are no longer applicable,” the company said in a statement.
Serhiy Popko, the head of the city’s military administration, said power and water were restored in Kyiv. Popko said that about 30 percent of consumers in the capital remained without heating and that repair work was ongoing.
DTEK workers managed to finish the overnight repairs on the damaged high-voltage equipment that supplies the southern port of Odesa and the Odesa region, where the electricity has been restored, the company said.
Power restrictions prompted by significant damage caused by the Russian strikes remained in the Zhytomyr and Kharkiv regions, where hourly shutdown schedules have to be imposed, state electricity company Ukrenerho reported on March 10.
Some consumers in the two regions are still left completely without electricity, and critical infrastructure in the cities of Zhytomyr and Kharkiv operates mainly from autonomous power sources, Ukrenerho said.
Emergency shutdowns are still taking place in other two regions — Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk — that sustained damage in the Russian strikes, it said.
Following the wave of attacks on Ukrainian civilian targets — the first of its kind since mid-February — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of persisting in using terror against civilians.
“The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done,” Zelenskiy said after the attacks.
IN PHOTOS: Russia launched a massive wave of air strikes on Ukraine on March 9, causing casualties and multiple power cuts across the country and halting the power supply of the nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhya as the battle for Bakhmut in the east raged on.
Zelenskiy also held talks with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who made an unannounced visit to Kyiv on March 10.
Marin accompanied Zelenskiy and senior military officers at the funeral of one of Ukraine’s best-known fighters and commanders, who was killed in clashes near Bakhmut.
The service for 27-year-old Dmytro Kotsyubaylo, killed a few days earlier, was held at the cathedral of Kyiv’s St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, where many mourners clutched flowers and paid their respects. Zelenskiy and Marin also laid flowers at a nearby memorial to fallen Ukrainian soldiers.
“Putin knows he will have to answer for his crime of aggression,” the Finnish leader told journalists. “The future tribunal must bring justice efficiently and answer Ukrainians’ rightful demands.”
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, despite abundant evidence to the contrary.
It said the attacks, during which it used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles, were a “massive retaliatory strike” in response to what it said was a Ukrainian-orchestrated “terrorist attack” in Russia’s Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, last week.
Kyiv has denied any involvement, suggesting Moscow might be seeking a “false flag” pretext to stage new attacks on Ukraine.
White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton said it was “devastating to see these brutal, unjustified attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine,” and said the United States would continue to supply Kyiv with air-defense systems.
Fierce fighting was under way in other parts of Donetsk region, with focus on the towns of Lyman, Avdiyivka, and Shakhtarsk, the military said.
In Rubizhniy, in the neighboring Luhansk region, the Ukrainian military said that Russians used civilians as human shields.
“The enemy places personnel in residential quarters, hiding behind the civilian population. Servicemen of the occupying forces are housed on the first and second floors, and civilians are left to live above,” the General Staff said.
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