Striking satellite image reveals extent of Ukraine's power shortage after Russian missile strikes

A satellite image of Europe shows the extent to which Ukraine is suffering from energy blackouts, in comparison to other countries, following intense missile strikes from Russia.

The image, which indicates the night radiance of Europe from space, clearly shows the capital city of Russia, Moscow, and the neighbouring second-largest city St Petersburg, strongly lit up, with surrounding countries such as Belarus, Lithuania and Estonia also radiating a varying degree of light.

In stark contrast, Ukraine is seen mainly in darkness on the satellite image, a direct effect of the recent bombardment of missile strikes from Russia, that left tens of millions without power and water.

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Strikes on Wednesday targeted critical infrastructure killing 10 and causing widespread power outages across the country, as well as more than half of neighbouring Moldova.

Ukraine's energy minister, Herman Halushchenko, said that "the vast majority of electricity consumers were cut off".

Nuclear power plants, including reactors at Ukraine's Pivdennoukrainsk plant in the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, south of Kyiv, were forced to shut down and emergency blackouts were necessary for other regions to help conserve energy and carry out urgent repairs.

"In one to two days, nuclear power plants will reach their normal scheduled capacity, and we expect that it will be possible to transfer our consumers to a planned shutdown (regime) instead of emergency (blackouts)," Ukrenergo chief executive Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said on Ukrainian TV on Friday.

In a recent update, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said a third of houses now have heating, but half of the residents remain without electricity.

Authorities have been racing to return supplies to the capital, which has a population of three million, but residents have been reduced to queuing up for water or collecting it from drainpipes.

Pictures from the western city of Lviv emerged on Friday showing individuals sitting by candlelight, not far from the Polish border.

Lviv mayor Andriy Sadoviy tweeted on Wednesday that the "whole city is without light" and there could also be interruptions with the water supply.

During the blackout, Ukraine's health ministry said that nine organ transplants from posthumous donors were carried out within 30 hours.

As of Friday morning, the regional governor of Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv, said that all residents had had their electricity supplies restored, but more than 100,000 in the outlying region continued to experience interruptions. Whereas in the south, authorities in the city of Mykolayiv said that running water was set to start flowing again after supplies were cut off by Russian strikes on Thursday.

In a bid to try and help Ukraine stay warm, European officials have issued monetary and physical aid.

French foreign minister Catherine Colonna said France is sending 100 high-powered generators to Ukraine whereas British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who arrived in Kyiv on a visit, promised a £50m air-defence package to help defend against Russia's bombardments.

Emergency vehicles including 24 ambulances, some of them armoured, are included within the package.

"Words are not enough. Words won't keep the lights on this winter. Words won't defend against Russian missiles," Mr Cleverly wrote in a tweet concerning military aid.

NATO's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg also showed support, saying the alliance is determined to help Ukraine defend itself for "as long as it takes".