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massive water and electricity cuts after Russian strikes

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Europe 1 with AFP
06:42, November 24, 2022modified to

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06:47, November 24, 2022

THE ESSENTIAL

Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure led to massive power and water cuts, particularly in the capital kyiv, killing at least six people, decried on Wednesday by Volodymyr Zelensky as “crimes against humanity” before the Security Council of ONU. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia fired around 70 cruise missiles at Ukraine, 51 of which were shot down, and sent five suicide drones. They targeted strategic infrastructure as winter temperatures set in in Ukraine.

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Speaking by videoconference before the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced a “crime against humanity”. “With temperatures below zero, several million people without energy supply, without heating and without water, this is obviously a crime against humanity”, lambasted Volodymyr Zelensky during a brief statement , during an emergency meeting that he himself had called for.

The main information:

  • Several Ukrainian cities including kyiv without electricity
  • The European Parliament has called Russia a “terrorist state”
  • Exchanges of Ukrainian and Russian prisoners took place

The French ambassador to the UN Nicolas Rivière described the Russian strikes as a “manifest violation of international humanitarian law” and reaffirmed France’s support for Ukraine during this Security Council. “Unable to win in a fair fight with the Ukrainian army, Russia is waging a cowardly war of terror against civilians,” denounced the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba. “Russian terror will fail. Ukraine will win”.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the Kremlin had no doubts about the “success” of its offensive in Ukraine, despite the setbacks of recent months on the ground. According to Ukrainian police chief Igor Klymenko, Wednesday’s Russian shelling left at least six people dead and 36 injured. In kyiv, “three people were killed. Among them is a 17-year-old girl,” said the mayor of the capital, Vitaly Klitschko.

He had announced earlier that infrastructure had been affected and that the water supply had been “suspended throughout Kyiv” because of the bombardments. Work in the evening allowed power to be restored on the right bank of kyiv, according to regional authorities.

Russia branded a ‘state promoter of terrorism’ by the European Parliament

Following these strikes, three nuclear power plants were “disconnected” from the electricity grid, without causing any consequences on the level of radiation at this stage. The supply of that of Zaporijjia (south), occupied by the Russians, was stopped. In Kramatorsk, in the east, Denys Vinnyk, 23, told AFP that he was “worried” about these cuts, like Ksenia Tcherkachina, met in front of the restaurant where she works, in the dark: “Until now we can cope… But the supply of electricity and heating is unstable”.

In Lviv, in western Ukraine, electricity has partially returned, but with periodic cuts, according to the authorities. The second city of the country, Kharkiv, in the northeast, remained, for its part, without power in the evening. Another direct consequence of these Russian strikes, Moldova, already plagued by major energy problems caused by the war in Ukraine, was the victim of “massive power outages”, deplored its Deputy Prime Minister, Andrei Spinu.

On the diplomatic front, the European Parliament on Wednesday called Russia a “state promoter of terrorism”, in a vote almost nine months to the day after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This vote was quickly welcomed by President Zelensky for whom “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held responsible in order to put an end to its terrorist policy”.

The European Parliament then announced that its website had been the target of a cyberattack claimed by a “pro-Kremlin group”. The spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, for her part proposed to qualify the European Parliament as a “promoter of idiocy”.

Exchange of prisoners between Moscow and kyiv

Elsewhere in Ukraine, a baby “born two days ago” was killed overnight in a Russian strike on a maternity hospital in Vilniansk, in the Zaporizhia region (south), relief workers told AFP. Despite still violent fighting, particularly in the east, Moscow and kyiv continue to exchange prisoners of war. “Another exchange took place today with kyiv according to the formula 35 for 35,” said Wednesday a senior leader of the Russian occupation authority, Denis Pushilin.

The freed Ukrainian prisoners are “22 national guards, eight border guards, four navy soldiers, a guy from the armed forces” and also a civilian “amputated” with a leg, specified the chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency, Andrii Yermak. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that he would have “direct contact” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “in the coming days”, in particular on Ukrainian civil nuclear energy, a source of concern.

But Mr Peskov said there was currently “no agreement” or “concrete proposal” on such a telephone interview. The United States meanwhile announced $400 million in new military aid to Ukraine for additional weapons, ammunition and air defense equipment. The UK has sent a first Sea King helicopter to Ukraine and plans to provide two more.

Source: Europe1

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