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About 10 million people are without power: Zelensky

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About 10 million people are without power: Zelensky

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Russian forces kept up a barrage of shell and missile attacks on various regions of Ukraine, many hitting power infrastructure, while heavy fighting persisted in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east of the country.

As the winter’s first snow fell in Kyiv, authorities said they were working to restore power nationwide after Russia earlier this week unleashed what Ukraine said was the heaviest bombardment of civilian infrastructure of the war, which began on Feb. 24 when Russia invaded its neighbour.

About 10 million people are without power, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Thursday evening video address, in a country with a pre-war population of about 44 million.

Authorities in some places ordered forced emergency blackouts, Zelensky said.

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure came under renewed heavy attack on Thursday, from capital Kyiv in the north to Dnipro in central Ukraine and Odesa in the south, the military said in a statement. Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours downed two cruise missiles, five air-launched missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, the military said.

Pope Francis reiterated on Friday the Vatican was ready to do anything possible to mediate and put an end to the conflict. “We must all be pacifists,” he told Italian daily La Stampa. “Wanting peace, not just a truce that may only serve to rearm. Real peace, which is the fruit of dialogue.”

Traces of explosives found

Investigators have found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that gross sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday. Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis. Denmark last month said a preliminary investigation had shown that the leaks were caused by powerful explosions.

Russia accuses Ukraine

Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday that Ukraine had executed more than 10 Russian prisoners of war, accusing Kyiv of carrying out war crimes that Moscow said the West ignores.

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