Human Rights

Power and rail systems under fire in Ukraine: Civilians caught in the crossfire

An increase in civilian casualties caused by intensifying attacks from the Russian armed forces against Ukraine’s electric power infrastructure and railway system calls for concern, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) said on Monday. 

Since 22 March, Ukraine’s energy infrastructure sustained four waves of attacks that killed six people, injured at least 45, and struck at least 20 facilities.  

Just this past Saturday alone,  missile attacks damaged four thermal power plants critical for electricity generation.  Two of the plants are located in western Ukraine, far from the frontline.

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Previous reports from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also noted the attacks had damaged power and water supplies, which disrupted critical services necessary for children’s care. 

Danielle Bell, Head of Mission at HRMMU, said, “These attacks have caused civilian deaths, and they also jeopardize essential services such as power generation and rail transport, further compounding the risks and harm affecting the civilian population of Ukraine.”  

Attacks on railways 

Recent attacks on Ukraine’s railway system have claimed the lives of at least 11 civilians and injured dozens in regions like Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Cherkasy. 

Those killed in the attacks were railway and power station workers who were either in or near the vicinity.

“Attacks on the railway system threaten a key mode of transportation that people in Ukraine depend on for personal travel and transport of essential goods, particularly given the restriction on all air traffic and limited access to seaports,” Ms. Bell said. 

Power and water supply affected

Within the last week, Ukrainian railway facilities saw three attacks, leaving civilians dead and injured. On 25 April, a missile strike killed three railway employees and injured four in Udachne, Donetsk region.

That same day, several other employees were injured in a missile attack on a railway facility in Smila, located in Cherkasy region.

In Balakliia, Kharkiv region, 11 people were injured in a missile attack that caused damage to the railway station and a train that had just arrived. Eight more people also lost their lives due to railway attacks in Synelnykove and Dnipro. 

HRMMU added that power outages frequently occurred in the immediate aftermath of attacks on energy infrastructure, affecting millions across the country, and also leading to interruptions to the water supply. 





  1. Are there any measures being taken to protect civilians and critical infrastructure in the targeted areas?

    1. Measures are being implemented to safeguard civilians and crucial infrastructure in the areas under attack. The government has increased security patrols and deployed additional forces to protect key facilities. Additionally, humanitarian aid is being provided to affected communities to mitigate the impact of these devastating assaults.

  2. It’s heartbreaking to see the impact of the attacks on Ukraine’s power and rail systems. The escalation in violence not only results in civilian casualties but also threatens vital services needed for the well-being of the Ukrainian population.

  3. As a concerned citizen, I believe that the escalating attacks on Ukraine’s power and rail systems are not only devastating for civilians but also pose a significant threat to essential services like power generation and transportation. The international community must take action to protect innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

  4. Do these attacks on power plants and railways affect the ability of civilians to access critical services in Ukraine?

  5. Does the article mention any specific measures being taken to protect civilians and critical infrastructure in Ukraine amidst these attacks?

  6. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see civilians suffering in Ukraine due to the escalating attacks on vital infrastructure. The international community must unite to condemn such senseless violence and protect innocent lives.

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