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The frontline Ukrainian city of Kherson is again without power in the wake of deadly Russian shelling this week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday the city had been attacked 16 times in 24 hours. At least one shell struck a Red Cross aid station, killing a paramedic, Zelensky said.

That barrage came after two Ukrainians were killed Wednesday in the city center, when a nearby government building was targeted, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelensky’s office.

The incessant salvos have left the city without power once again, according to the provincial governor, Yaroslav Yanushevich.

The attacks on Kherson — a city surrendered by the Russians early last month as they sought to pull back across natural fortification of the nearby Dnipro River — mimic the Russian strategy throughout Ukraine.

The Kremlin, seemingly unable to recover territory retaken by Kyiv in a series of fall counteroffensives, has continued to rely on a tactic that’s been its backbone since the start of the war: bombarding cities from afar.

Smoke and debris are pictured rising from the Kherson Regional State Administration building
Smoke and debris rises as the Kherson Regional State Administration building is hit by Russian shelling.
VIA REUTERS

Ukrainian officials accuse Russian forces of intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in an effort to break Kyiv’s will to fight — a sentiment echoed by Russian lawmaker Andrey Gurulev, who declared on state-run TV in October he wanted to see Kyiv “swimming in sh_t.”

Gurulev called on Moscow to target Ukrainian infrastructure “in order to collapse the country.”

A man in fatigues is pictured looking at a hole in a building
A Ukrainian war crime prosecutor inspects a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike in Kherson.
REUTERS

While Russia’s effort to take Russian-controlled territory has ground to a bitter, bloody stalemate outside the eastern city of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military said it believes the Kremlin is preparing for a long war of attrition.

“The Kremlin … is seeking to turn the conflict into a prolonged armed confrontation,” Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov told reporters Thursday.

Gromov cited reports that Russia has been training and refitting troops within Belarus — a Kremlin ally on Ukraine’s northern border — as well as repositioning Russian warplanes to Belarusian airfields.

Debris on the Kherson street in front of a large building is pictured
The results of a Russian rocket attack on the Kherson City Council on Wednesday.
Yaroslav Yanushevich/Kherson OVA

“[This] indicates that the enemy is building up the possibilities of delivering air strikes on the territory of Ukraine,”  he said.

Russian ground forces have also been trying to take Ukrainian territory in the province of Zaporizhzhia, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and one of the five Ukrainian provinces the Kremlin has claimed to annex.

“They understand that if they do not stretch the front now, then this winter will be a disaster for them,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president’s office.

Meanwhile, millions of Ukrainians remain without heat or power as Russia’s bombardment campaign rages on.

Volker Turk, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned Thursday the situation in Ukraine was fast becoming one of “extreme hardship.”

“Additional strikes could lead to a further serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation and spark more displacement,” Turk said, following a visit to the embattled country last week.

The international body estimates some 18 million Ukrainians are currently reliant on humanitarian aid as winter temperatures deepen.

With wires

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