Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, has stated that Russia’s missile strikes against Ukraine’s power grid aim to freeze the Eastern European country “into submission”, while Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned that Kiev is facing a must end the war if “they don’t want to perish.”
Thomas-Greenfield said at a Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin insists on reducing Ukraine’s energy facilities to “rubble” as the war rages.
“Putin’s motive could not be clearer and more cold-blooded. He is clearly weaponizing winter to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people. He has decided that if he cannot conquer Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze.” the land into submission,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lukashenko called for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, adding that the country is at risk of “complete destruction”.
“Everything is now in the hands of Ukraine. If they don’t want to perish, they must stop. They must stop, because next is the complete destruction of Ukraine. This is not what Putin said long before the operation, that it would be the loss of the Ukrainian state. This will in fact mean the destruction of Ukraine! They must stop,” he said during an interview with Russian news channel RBC on Thursday.
Russia has launched a number of missile strikes against energy facilities across Ukraine, causing power outages and blackouts across the country ahead of a harsh winter.
On Wednesday, Russia attacked Ukraine’s power grid again, killing three people in an attack on a building in Kiev targeting power facilities, authorities in the capital, reported VOA News. Power outages were reported in multiple cities, including Kiev and Moldova
Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrainian energy company Ukrenegro, said on Tuesday that recent Russian attacks have essentially destroyed all of Ukraine’s thermal and hydraulic power plants.
In addition to power plants, about 100 Russian missiles were launched towards mostly Ukrengro substations, causing varying levels of damage to 15 facilities.
“Almost all hydraulic power generation and thermal power generation suffered from missile strikes,” said Kudrytskyi, according to a translation posted to YouTube by the Ukraine Media Center. “There are no undamaged power transmission substations in the entire grid. Unfortunately, significant substations have been hit five or even eight times, so the damage is massive.”
Russia denied any wrongdoing on Thursday, accusing “foreign and Ukrainian” air defense missiles of damaging Kiev, where energy facilities were hit.
“No attacks have been carried out against any targets in the city of Kiev,” the Russian defense ministry said. Any damage was “the result of the fall of missiles from foreign and Ukrainian air defense systems into residential areas of the Ukrainian capital”.
Meanwhile, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, justified the attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by saying that “we are attacking infrastructure facilities in Ukraine in response to Western weapons being pumped into the country and reckless calls to Kiev to declare military victory over Ukraine.” Russia.”
Western and Russian diplomats discussed Russian missile attacks on Ukraine’s power grid at Wednesday’s Security Council meeting, with Thomas-Greenfield warning of the impact those attacks will have on Ukrainians this winter.
“If he [Putin] has its way, millions of Ukrainians will be without electricity, water and heat during these cold winter months. Even more families will be forced to flee their homes. Hospitals cannot treat patients. And more children and the elderly, especially the sick and disabled, will die. The most vulnerable will pay the highest price,” she said.
News Week has contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.