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Russia's "energy terror" knocks out power to Ukraine's civilians - and its nuclear plants

Russia bombing Ukraine into darkness
Missiles target energy grid leaving Ukrainians in cold and darkness 02:40

Kyiv — Russia has faced condemnation for its latest wave of missile strikes targeting Ukraine's power grid. The barrage of missiles has plunged much of the capital city of Kyiv into frigid darkness, and killed at least 10 people across the country according to Ukrainian officials.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of "energy terror."

Kyiv was already blanketed in snow as Vladimir Putin's military sent the latest salvo of missiles to rain down on key infrastructure. Millions of civilian homes, businesses and hospitals are now without heat, water or electricity. 

Russia appears determined to bomb Ukraine back into the Dark Ages.

Surgeons at the Kyiv Heart Institute were left to operate with flashlights, and without running water.

Russia Ukraine War
A woman walks by homes damaged during Russian shelling in the town of Vyshgorod, outside Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, November 24, 2022. About 70% of the Ukrainian capital was left without power after Moscow unleashed another devastating missile barrage on the country's energy infrastructure, Kyiv's mayor said. Efrem Lukatsky/AP

And the people stuck living through the nightmare are the lucky ones who survived. A 17-year-old girl was among those killed when a Russian missile came crashing through the roof of an apartment building in the capital's outskirts on Wednesday.

Victoria and her mother Tatiana came home to the building to find what was left, which was virtually nothing.

"It's so, so hard," Victoria said through tears, adding an appeal: "If you're seeing this, please help us. Why are kindergartens, schools and residential buildings attacked? This is not strategic infrastructure."

Like millions of Ukrainians, they are now facing a long, dark, freezing cold winter as their country's last three fully functional nuclear plants had to be disconnected from the grid due to Russia's strikes.

Entering the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant in Ukraine | 60 Minutes 01:33

Zelenskyy denounced Moscow, accusing it of "crimes against humanity."

The director of Ukraine's biggest energy provider said the situation was critical.

"People are suffering," DTEK Executive Director Dmytro Sakharuk told CBS News. "In some cases, people lost... lost friends, relatives, kids."

But the businessman said Ukraine's "spirit is very strong, and people are ready to suffer," because they believe Ukraine's army will liberate the rest of the country's territory from the Russian occupiers.

He's confident that Putin's strikes will backfire, and instead of depleting Ukrainian's morale, it will strengthen their resolve.

Ukraine's energy minister has said the country's operational nuclear plants should be reconnected to the grid by Thursday evening. But that doesn't include Europe's biggest nuclear power plant in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, which has been shelled repeatedly, and is still held hostage by Russian forces.

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