Russia on Tuesday launched its largest wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian cities in more than a month – hours after Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky presented a peace plan in front of world leaders at the G20 summit in Indonesia.
Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine shortly after the leader laid out a 10-point plan, including the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
The attacks targeted electricity infrastructure in several regions of the country, leaving more than seven million Ukrainians without power and power supplies in critical condition, senior Ukrainian officials said.
The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said 15 facilities of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had been damaged in the Russian missile strikes, but Ukrainian air defenses had shot down 70 of more than 90 missiles fired at Ukraine.
Two rockets also reportedly hit a farm in Poland near the border with Ukraine, killing two people, according to Polish media. It’s unclear where the projectiles came from, but they landed at about the same time as a Russian missile strike on western Ukraine.
Two projectiles reportedly hit Poland around the same time as the Russian attack on Ukraine, with Polish media showing an image of a deep impact and an overturned agricultural vehicle at the site, near the town of Przewodow.
A government spokesman said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has convened the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense.
Poland is a NATO member state and the Defense Alliance is investigating the matter, a NATO official told CNN.
Fellow NATO members the United States and the United Kingdom remained reticent in their statements about the incident.
A senior White House official said they have no confirmation of a missile strike in Poland, but US officials are currently trying to find out exactly what happened.
Zelensky, on the other hand, blamed Russia for the incident, which was echoed by NATO member Latvia. “Terror is not limited to our national borders,” Zelensky said in his daily speech.
Amid speculation about the origin of the projectiles, Russia’s defense ministry denied responsibility, saying there were “no attacks on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border”. Polish authorities have also not confirmed that Russian missiles have landed on their territory.
According to a CNN analysis of the rocket attacks, at least a dozen cities and districts in Ukraine were targeted by Russian attacks. The wave of strikes appears to be the largest since October 10, when Russia stepped up its campaign to destroy electricity, water and gas infrastructure across Ukraine.
In a video message posted to Telegram local time on Tuesday night, Zelensky said 85 missile strikes had been launched against Ukraine so far, and warned that more may follow.
“We can see what the enemy wants, they will not succeed,” he said. “We may have 20 more strikes, please take care of yourself, stay in the bomb shelter for a while.”
In the capital Kyiv, the city’s military administration said one person had been killed. Two explosions had been heard, it added, directing residents to stay in shelters. It said four missiles were shot down.
Kiev mayor Vitaliy Klitschko then said there had been a third strike. “Another hit in the Pechersk district of Kiev city. A tall building,’ said Klitschko.
Power supply to several Ukrainian regions was disrupted as a result of the rocket attacks.
State energy supplier Ukrenergo said the Russians were “trying to turn off the lights in the country again”.
“The attack is still ongoing, we cannot yet estimate the full extent of the damage, there are attacks on our infrastructure in all regions of the country, but the most difficult situation is in the northern and central regions,” he added.
In his video message, Zelensky said authorities are working to restore power. “We will resist,” he said.
In addition, the country is currently experiencing major internet disruption, according to Netblocks, which tracks cybersecurity and connectivity around the world, with connectivity at 67% from previous levels.
Moldova also lost power following Russian attacks on Ukraine, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu said on Tuesday.
Spinu said in a post on his Telegram account that “after the Russian bombing of the Ukrainian electricity system” one of the power lines carrying electricity to Moldova has been disconnected. Authorities are working to restore connection to the line, which was not damaged but was disconnected for safety reasons, he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zelensky made a proposal to end the Russian invasion, according to a transcript shared by the Embassy of Ukraine in Indonesia on Tuesday.
The president’s peace plan consists of 10 steps, including a path to nuclear safety, food security, a special tribunal for Russian war crimes and a final peace treaty with Russia, according to the transcript of the speech.
He urged G20 leaders to use all their might to “make Russia give up nuclear threats” and introduce a price cap on energy imported from Moscow.
Zelensky also called on Russia to stop bombing Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as winter approaches.
“Let Russia prove by its rejection of terror that it is really interested in restoring peace,” he said.
Moscow has become isolated at this year’s G20 summit as several Western leaders have vowed not to interact with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is attending on behalf of the Kremlin.
World leaders condemned Tuesday’s strikes. During the summit, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a tweet that the attacks on Ukrainian cities “show only the weakness of Putin”, who is “losing on the battlefield and – as we saw today at the G20 – also diplomatically.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said “right now we are hearing again of ruthless Russian missile attacks on Kiev, Kharkiv and Lviv and other places, and especially on civilian infrastructure again,” during remarks on Tuesday with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi in Berlin.
She added that the attack “is also an unprecedented attack on nuclear safety and nuclear security.”