KyIv - ukraine said russia had destroyed homes in the southeast and knocked out power in many places with a new round of missile attacks as the West imposed a price cap on russian seaborne oil to try to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its invasion. a new barrage had been expected for days and came on a day when emergency blackouts were due to end, with previous damage repaired. the strikes plunged parts of the country back into freezing darkness with temperatures across Ukraine now firmly below zero. they followed reported explosions at two air bases inside russia overnight, both hundreds of miles from ukraine. one of them, the engels base in Saratov region, houses bomber planes that are part of russia’s strategic nuclear forces. three people were killed when a fuel tanker exploded at the air base in Ryazan, 185 km (115 miles) southeast of Moscow, state news agency rIa said. Saratov regional governor roman Busargin reassured residents they were safe after what he called reports on social media of a “loud bang and a flash” at the Engels air base. “Information about incidents at military facilities is being checked by law enforcement agencies,” he said, without elaborating. The Engels base, about 730 km (455 miles) south of moscow, is one of two strategic bomber bases housing russia’s air-delivered nuclear capability, comprising 60-70 planes. Previous mysterious blasts have damaged arms stores and fuel depots in russian regions near ukraine and knocked out at least seven warplanes in Crimea, annexed by russia from ukraine in 2014. President vladimir Putin drove a mercedes across the bridge linking southern russia to Crimea on monday, less than two months since that too, was hit by an explosion. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for any of the blasts, saying only that such incidents are “karma” for russia’s invasion. “If something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to (their) departure point,” ukrainian presidential adviser mykhailo Podolyak wrote on twitter on monday. moscow has been hitting ukraine’s energy infrastructure roughly weekly since early october as it has been forced to retreat on some battlefronts.
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