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White House fumes over Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian power grid

American aid to Kyiv has largely stalled amid disagreements in Congress over continued funding for the war effort and concerns about corruption in the eastern European nation.

Published: March 29, 2024 9:37pm

The White House on Friday responded furiously after Russian forces constructed a series of attacks on the Ukrainian grid Thursday evening.

The barrage include a combination of 99 missiles and drones, according to the Associated Press, and struck critical infrastructure across the country, resulting in blackouts in major cities such as Kharkiv, which is situated close to the Russian border. Though Russia has previously targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure, the scale of the barrage marked one of the largest such efforts since the war began in 2022.

"This bombardment—part of a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure— is a terrible reminder of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people and plunge them into darkness," National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, per The Hill. Watson further indicated that the attack deprived "many people across the country of heat, water, and electricity in the still cold days of early spring."

The front lines have remained relatively static over the past several months, with the notable exception of the Russian seizure of Avdiivka, a critical fortress town along the 2014 ceasefire line the capture of which has permitted Russian troops to make modest gains in the Donetsk province. Within the past 24 hours, Russian troops appear to have made gains in the towns of Novomykhailivka and Ivanivske, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

American aid to Kyiv has largely stalled amid disagreements in Congress over continued funding for the war effort and concerns about corruption in the eastern European nation. While the Senate has approved a substantial foreign aid package, including $61 billion for Ukraine, it has stalled in the House. Democrats in the lower chamber, however, have begun circulating a discharge petition to force a vote on the matter, though it faces a competing effort from moderate lawmakers who hope to pass a more modest package.

The scope and successes of the Russian strikes Thursday evening likely signal a decline in Ukrainian air defense capabilities. The Kyiv government has long ranked anti-aircraft batteries and other air defense systems among its most important military needs.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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