President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “crimes against humanity” after a new missile barrage caused blackouts across Ukraine.
He told the UN Security Council via videolink that the Russian “formula of terror” had forced “millions of people to stay without energy supplies, without heating, without water” in sub-zero cold.
The strikes killed at least seven people, Ukraine said.
Nuclear power plants went off-line.
The three plants still under Ukrainian control were disconnected from the grid and the Zaporizhzhia plant – Europe’s largest – was forced again to rely on diesel generators to power its cooling systems and key safety equipment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voiced great concern about the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant, which has suffered damage from repeated shelling.
Neighbouring Moldova also experienced massive blackouts on Wednesday, but was not directly hit.
With winter setting in, Moscow has stepped up strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Officials say Russia’s missile strikes on power stations have caused “colossal” damage and left more than half of the country’s grid in need of repair.
Late on Wednesday Zelensky said the situation in Kyiv remained “very difficult” and efforts would continue through the night to restore electricity.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least 80 per cent of the capital’s residents had no power or running water.
But Mr Zelensky said some other cities hit by Russian missiles had managed to restore power, including Lviv, Odesa and Cherkasy. (BBC)