On March 9, 2023, Ukraine experienced a massive wave of missile attacks from Russia, which targeted infrastructure across cities in Ukraine. This wave of attacks, the first in three weeks, resulted in the deaths of at least five people and left Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, without power. The attacks have also caused power outages in several cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa, leaving households without heating and energy facilities damaged.
The attacks were reported to have hit a wide range of targets, including critical infrastructure, energy infrastructure, and residential buildings. Moscow has been launching massive missile attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure since last October, initially weekly and then more intermittent, leading to speculation that Moscow may be saving up ordnance. The last major wave of attacks was on February 16.
In the wake of Russia's wave of airstrikes, Ukraine's nuclear energy operator Energoatom announced that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, had been left without power. The plant is now running on diesel generators, with enough fuel for 10 days. The fifth and sixth reactors have also been shut down, and if it is impossible to renew the external power supply of the station during this time, an accident with radiation consequences for the whole world may occur. Zaporizhzhia is occupied by Russian forces, and this marks the sixth time since the occupation began that the facility has lost power.
Russia's own nuclear energy operator Rosenergoatom confirmed that power had been cut, but said that it was Ukraine that had cut the power. The Ukrainian government has denied this claim and accused Russia of deliberately targeting critical infrastructure, including the nuclear power plant, in an attempt to destabilize the country. The United Nations and the European Union have strongly condemned the attacks and called for an immediate end to the violence.
The attacks come amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia over the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 13,000 people and displaced over 1.5 million. The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of backing separatist rebels in the region and providing them with military support, a claim that Russia denies.
The international community has been closely monitoring the situation and has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia for its role in the conflict. The United States and the European Union have also provided military aid and support to Ukraine. The latest wave of attacks has sparked fears of a wider conflict, and the international community has called for an immediate ceasefire and for both sides to return to the negotiating table.
In conclusion, the recent wave of missile attacks by Russia on Ukraine has caused significant damage to critical infrastructure, resulted in the deaths of several people, and left Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant without power. The attacks have raised concerns about a wider conflict and the potential for a nuclear disaster. The international community has condemned the attacks and called for an immediate end to the violence, but the situation remains volatile, and tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to escalate.