Ukrainians suffer in cold, darkness as president implores UN to punish Russia

KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the UN Security Council to act against Russia over air strikes on civilian infrastructure that again plunged Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold as winter sets in.

Russia unleashed a missile barrage across Ukraine on Wednesday, killing 10 people, forcing shutdowns of nuclear power plants and cutting water and electricity supply in many places.

“Today is just one day, but we have received 70 missiles. That’s the Russian formula of terror. This is all against our energy infrastructure,” Zelenskiy said via video link to the council chamber. “Hospitals, schools, transport, residential districts all suffered.”

A view shows the city centre without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks, amid Russias invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, Ukraine November 23, 2022. .— Reuters
A view shows the city centre without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, Ukraine November 23, 2022. .— Reuters

Ukraine was waiting to see “a very firm reaction” to Wednesday’s air strikes from the world, he added.

The council is unlikely to take any action in response to the appeal since Russia is a member with veto power.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “clearly weaponising winter to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people.”

The Russian president “will try to freeze the country into submission,” she added.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, responded by complaining that it was against council rules for Zelenskiy to appear via video and rejected what he called “reckless threats and ultimatums” by Ukraine and its supporters in the West.

Nebenzya said damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure was caused by missiles fired by Ukrainian air defence systems that crashed into civilian areas after being fired at Russia’s missiles and called on the West to stop providing Kyiv with air defence missiles.

‘She is alive’

Kyiv was one of the main targets of Wednesday’s missile strikes. “Today we had three hits on high-rise apartment buildings. Unfortunately, 10 people died,” said Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky. Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital as Russian missiles bore down and Ukrainian air defence rockets were fired in effort to intercept them.

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