Romania to send Patriot system to Ukraine as Russia pounds its power grid

NATO member’s donation comes after Ukraine’s repeated calls on allies to boost its air defences.

NATO member Romania has announced it will send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, which has repeatedly called on its allies to increase their air defence support as Russia attacks its energy infrastructure.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that Russia had destroyed half of Ukraine’s electricity-generating capacity and it needed seven Patriot missile systems and other aerial defences to shield Ukraine’s urban centres.

“Considering the significant deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine, … council members decided to donate a Patriot system to Ukraine in close coordination with allies,” Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defence said in a statement on Thursday.

Thanking Romania, Zelenskyy posted on X: “This crucial contribution will bolster our air shield and help us better protect our people and critical infrastructure from Russian air terror.”

Seeking to curb each other’s ability to fight in a war that is now in its third year, Russia resumed its aerial pounding of Ukraine’s power grid, and Kyiv’s forces again targeted Russian oil facilities with cross-border drone attacks, officials said on Thursday.

Russia fired nine missiles and launched 27 Shahed drones at energy facilities and critical infrastructure in central and eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian air force said. Air defences intercepted all the drones and five cruise missiles, it added.

The attack hit power structures in the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv and Vinnytsia regions of Ukraine, causing “extensive damage”, according to the national power company Ukrenergo. Seven workers were injured, it said.

Ukrenergo announced extended blackouts across the country despite receiving electricity imports and help with emergency supplies from European countries.

Private energy company DTEK said one of its power plants was hit in the overnight attack but did not specify its location.

Three company employees were injured and the plant’s equipment was severely damaged, DTEK said on social media.

Attacks on Russia

In Russia, meanwhile, authorities in two regions reported fires at oil storage depots after drone attacks, two days after a Ukrainian strike started a huge blaze at another refinery.

The overnight drone attacks were carried out by Ukraine’s Security Service, known by its acronym SBU, a Kyiv security official told The Associated Press news agency.

The attacks triggered fires at the facilities, which processed and stored crude oil and its derivatives used to supply the Russian army, the official said.

The head of Russia’s Adygea region, Murat Kumpilov, said a Ukrainian drone attack sparked a fire at an oil depot in the town of Enem that was later extinguished.

The governor of the Tambov region, Maxim Yegorov, said an oil reservoir was set ablaze at an oil depot there.

Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said a drone hit a private house in the town of Slavyansk, killing a woman.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence said air defences downed 15 Ukrainian drones over three regions but did not mention any damage.

The ministry said it has shot down more than 26,000 Ukrainian drones since the start of the war.

Source: News Agencies