Russia launched large-scale attack across Ukraine, hitting energy infrastructure

Russian forces initiated a massive aerial assault across Ukraine overnight on April 11, targeting critical infrastructure in multiple regions.

According to Ukraine's state-owned energy operator Ukrenergo, the attacks inflicted damage on energy facilities in Kharkiv, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, and Lviv oblasts.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko announced via Facebook that engineers are currently working to restore the damaged sites.

The Air Force issued an aerial alert for most of the country, including the far-western oblasts, in the early hours of April 11. The military stated that Russia had deployed drones, cruise missiles from Tu-95 bombers, and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in various regions.

Explosions were reported in Kharkiv around 5 a.m. local time. Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov stated that the region was struck at least 10 times, resulting in damage to critical infrastructure.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov warned residents to anticipate power outages and announced that the metro service would be suspended for several hours. Emergency electricity restrictions were implemented in the oblast at 6:31 a.m.

Following the attack, over 200,000 subscribers in Kharkiv Oblast were left without electricity, with the metro being utilized as a shelter, according to Oleksii Kuleba, the deputy head of the Presidential Office.

Fortunately, no casualties were reported. Syniehubov later clarified that Russia had employed S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in the attack on Kharkiv's energy facility, resulting in damage to an apartment building as well.

Terekhov reported that a thermal power plant supplying the city was damaged, and a transformer substation was completely destroyed.

Recent weeks have seen an escalation in Russian attacks on Ukraine's second-largest city, targeting critical infrastructure and residential areas using missiles, glide bombs, and drones. Terekhov previously stated on April 1 that Russian attacks had decimated "almost all" of the city's energy infrastructure.

In addition to Kharkiv, Russian drones struck Kyiv Oblast overnight, with the region being targeted for over five hours. Governor Ruslan Kravchenko reported that the strikes caused a fire at a critical infrastructure facility in Kyiv Oblast, but no casualties were recorded.

The Trypillia Thermal Power Plant in Ukrainka, Kyiv Oblast, was completely obliterated in the attack, as confirmed by the state energy company Centerenergo. This led to the total loss of Centerenergo's generating capacity.

Reports also emerged of Russian strikes in Ukraine's western oblasts. Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi stated that a Russian missile breached the region's airspace shortly before 6 a.m. local time on April 11.

Targets in Lviv Oblast included a gas distribution facility in the Stryi district and a substation in the Chervonohrad district, both of which were struck by Russian missiles and drones. Thankfully, no casualties or outages were reported in the oblast.

Explosions were reported in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and Zaporizhzhia Oblast, with the latter sustaining damage to an energy infrastructure facility.

Odesa Oblast witnessed the downing of seven Shahed-type drones by Ukraine's air defense, according to regional governor Oleh Kiper. Fallen debris from the drones caused a fire at an energy facility, but no casualties or outages occurred in the region.

Poland announced that it had scrambled military aircraft to safeguard its airspace during the mass attack.

The frequency and intensity of Russian missile and drone attacks have surged in recent months. Ukraine's critical shortage of air defense systems, compounded by ongoing delays in U.S. military aid, has provided Russian forces with opportunities to launch renewed assaults on energy infrastructure.

Ukraine's Air Force reported that Ukrainian air defenses successfully intercepted 57 of the 82 missiles and drones launched by Russia overnight. Ukrainian forces downed all but one of the 40 Shahed-type drones, along with 16 Kh-101/555 cruise missiles and two Kh-59 air-launched missiles.

In total, Russia launched 20 X-101/555 missiles, six X-47M2 Kinzhal missiles, 12 S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, and four Kh-59 missiles, as per the Air Force's statement.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged international partners to provide additional air defense systems, emphasizing that the failure to do so grants Russia a "global license for terror."

"We need air defense and other defense aid, not turning a blind eye and lengthy discussions," he stated on his Telegram channel.

Thin air defenses may permit more Russian attacks on rear Ukrainian cities

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) cautioned in their April 10 report that the necessity to redistribute Ukraine's already scarce air defense systems to safeguard heavily targeted cities like Kharkiv could result in frequent Russian attacks on rear logistics and urban centers across Ukraine.

Recent escalations have seen Russia intensifying assaults on Kharkiv, deploying missiles, glide bombs, and drones, reportedly causing extensive damage to the city's energy infrastructure.

President Volodymyr Zelensky conferred with Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk on April 10 regarding the reorganization of air defense strategies to afford additional protection to Kharkiv, which came under Russian aerial glide bomb attacks on April 9.

The reallocation underscores the challenging decisions driven by the shortage of munitions, as noted by the ISW.

"This further reorganization of Ukrainian air defenses...will likely draw from Ukraine's existing inventory of missiles and launchers, stretching Ukraine's already limited air defense capabilities and presenting Russian forces with opportunities to exploit weakened air defenses elsewhere," the ISW stated.

Kyiv has escalated efforts to procure Western air defense systems, particularly U.S.-made Patriots, to mitigate the shortfall. The U.S. State Department revealed on April 9 its intention to supply a military sales package worth $138 million to Ukraine, facilitating crucial repairs and spare parts acquisition necessary for Hawk missile systems.

However, ISW analysts cautioned that these emergency measures, while vital, would not suffice to adequately safeguard Ukraine's airspace against the Russian onslaught.

"U.S. emergency efforts to bolster Ukraine’s existing air defense capabilities remain insufficient to shield Ukraine from Russian strikes," the ISW emphasized.

As per the ISW's assessment, Kyiv's limited air defense capabilities may embolden Moscow to conduct regular strikes not only against frontline targets but also against logistics networks and urban centers in Ukraine's rear regions.

The "degraded and thin" state of Ukraine's air defense systems could "dramatically increase the scale of devastating glide bomb strikes and potentially facilitate routine large-scale Russian air operations against rear Ukrainian logistics and cities," the analysts warned.

Russia's war causes at least $2.9 billion in damages to Mykolaiv - City Mayor

Russian attacks on the southern city of Mykolaiv have inflicted damages amounting to at least $2.9 billion, revealed Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych during a press briefing at the International Mayors Summit in Chisinau, Moldova, on April 11.

The city authorities have meticulously documented the destruction to ascertain the total damage costs, but Senkevych noted that this figure continues to rise daily due to ongoing bombardments.

The estimated expenses for post-war recovery and reconstruction across Ukraine have surged to $486 billion over a decade, as reported by the World Bank in February.

Denmark has made the restoration of Mykolaiv and its neighboring regions a top priority as part of its support policy for Ukraine, allocating 60% of its development assistance to the area.

Previously boasting a population of 470,000 before the conflict, Mykolaiv now lies approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the frontline, rendering it and its environs prime targets for Russian forces.

A Russian assault on Mykolaiv on April 11 resulted in four fatalities, five injuries, and significant damage to residential structures, industrial facilities, and vehicles.

When queried by the Kyiv Independent about whether the slowdown in Western military aid puts Mykolaiv at risk of a potential Russian offensive, Senkevych emphasized the crucial role of ammunition and weaponry supplies while highlighting the irreplaceable loss of human lives.

Senkevych stressed that while no country can furnish personnel, increased deliveries of military aid could prove life-saving on the front lines by ensuring Ukrainian soldiers are adequately equipped.

"To create a tank, you need like eight months to a year; to create a rocket unit (you need) three months, but to create Ukrainian warrior, you need at least 18 years," Senkevych remarked, underscoring the invaluable nature of trained personnel in the conflict.