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Russian forces continued to shell the city of Kherson and the surrounding area, killing at least three, Ukrainian authorities said, as the nation works to maintain civilian infrastructure.

There were 42 separate strikes against Ukrainian-held territory in the Kherson province alone on Thursday, the provincial governor, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said Friday.

“The enemy purposefully attacks the civilian infrastructure of the region and kills civilians,” he said.

Russia has spent the past few months pummeling Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, specifically targeting the nation’s electrical grid — “weaponizing winter,” in the words of western leaders, who accuse Russia of trying to make civilian life unbearable for Ukrainians to break their will to fight.

Kherson city, the regional capital, has been under near-constant bombardment since it was retaken by Ukrainian forces early last month after Russians retreated from the city to the far side of the nearby Dnipro River.

But Yanushevych said Friday that 75% of the electrical grid in Kherson city had already been restored.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, power outages were causing another problem — lack of cell phone service.

A rescue worker looks at a damaged building
A rescuer looks at a residential building damaged by a missile attack in the northern Kharkiv region. Russian strikes have hit civilian buildings throughout the country.
AFP via Getty Images

Teams of engineers have been dispatched this week by Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile provider, to maintain backup diesel generators at the base of the nation’s cell phone towers.

Though the Ukrainian military has been largely using satellite-based communication systems, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink system, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has singled out the cell phone infrastructure as critically important.

“Special attention is paid to the communication system,” he said last week at a meeting to discuss infrastructure security. “We must maintain communication.”

With wires

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