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Ukraine plunges into darkness in war’s first winter

STORY: When a Russian missile struck this Kyiv neighborhood on Wednesday (November 23) Nina Vlasiuk says she was at home with her 10 year-old daughter.

She shielded her child until it was all over.

What do I do next? She asks. She says there's no power, heating or water to her home, which has been severely damaged in the blast.

Russia's latest missile barrage killed 10 people and shut down all of Ukraine's nuclear power plants for the first time in 40 years, plunging the country into its worst nationwide power outages yet, as well as into freezing darkness.

Authorities have been working to get the lights and heat back on, as well as to restart three nuclear plants in Ukrainian-held territory.

As for the vast Zaporizhzhia plant in Russian-held territory - it had to activate backup diesel power but was reconnected on Thursday.

Moscow has carried out similar attacks on energy targets about once a week since early October - but these are believed to be the most devastating so far.

It's forced doctors to perform surgery in the middle of power outages.

These surgeons completed an open heart operation on a three-month-old baby during a blackout.

They say the choice was either to do nothing and allow the baby to die - or try to operate.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed to the UN Security Council to take action to stop Russian air strikes.

But Russia wields a veto on the council, so there's no prospect of action.

Moscow acknowledges attacking basic infrastructure in what it calls a "special military operation", saying its aim is to reduce Ukraine's ability to fight and push it to negotiate.

Kyiv says the attacks are clearly intended to harm civilians - making it a war crime.

A Kremlin spokesperson on Thursday (November 24) denied launching any strikes on Kyiv targets, attributing damage in the capital to fallout from air defense systems.