Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more sanctions against Moscow following Russia’s renewed missile attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure. There must be more pressure on Russia, Zelensky said in his evening video message distributed in Kiev on Thursday. He also criticized the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was once again temporarily cut off from its grid by a missile attack. “It’s a critical situation,” he said.
So Russia can no longer be a reliable partner in the nuclear sector. “This means that the sooner Russia’s nuclear industry is targeted by sanctions, the safer the world will be. “Nowhere in the world can a terrorist state be allowed to use nuclear facilities for terrorism,” Zelensky said of Zaporizhia. Nuclear power Russia builds and operates nuclear power plants in several countries.
The Ukrainian head of state accused Russia of a war against civilization. He complained that Moscow’s attacks on civilian infrastructure on Thursday had caused partial power, heat and water supply failures in some regions and cities. Six people were killed, Zelensky said. The situation is particularly difficult in Kharkiv, in the Zhytomyr region west of Kiev.
Half of the city is without electricity and half without water, Zhytomyr Mayor Serhiy Sukomlin said. In the capital Kyiv, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said electricity was available everywhere in the metropolis, but 30 percent of apartments had to do without central heating. Heat recovery is underway.
“It will not be easy in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk region, Kiev and Zaporizhia. Repair units, engineers, local authorities, central services – everyone will work until the energy supply of cities and regions is restored», Zelensky said. “No matter how insidious Russia’s actions are, our government and people will not be kept in chains. Neither missiles nor Russian nastiness will help.”
Since mid-October, Russia has repeatedly attacked power plants in Ukraine with bombers and warships’ missiles and drones. The destruction of infrastructure led to hourly and daily power, district heating and water outages in all parts of the country. However, the Ukrainians always managed to fix the broken network. Ukraine’s Western allies have sent several power generators to the country to deliver emergency and basic supplies.
Zelensky praised the EU’s help in Ukraine’s struggle for energy security. He also reported on a phone call with EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen, who again pledged support for Ukraine. Accordingly, Zelensky also called for the expansion of economic sanctions against Russia during the dialogue. At the same time, he reiterated that he expects Ukraine’s accession negotiations for EU membership to begin this year. The EU has always said Ukraine has a long way to go.
What’s important is Friday
Fighting continues for the strategically important city of Pakmut in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. President Zelensky wants to keep Bakhmut as a fortress to prevent the Russians from penetrating further inland from there.
US President Joe Biden receives EU Commission President Van der Leyen at the White House on Friday (8:00pm CET) for talks on support for Russia-hit Ukraine.
At a joint summit in Paris this morning, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intend to discuss strengthening cooperation on arms supplies to Ukraine and training of Ukrainian soldiers.
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