Large parts of Ukraine were blacked out tonight, after a series of Russian attacks this afternoon. In many places, including the capital, Kyiv, the water has also disappeared. There were also widespread power outages in neighboring Moldova.
Four Ukrainian nuclear power plants, Rivne, Pivdennoukrainsk, Khmelnytskji and Zaporizhzhya, were tonight disconnected from the power grid as a result of the attacks. Power stations receive emergency power via diesel generators.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested – and received – an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which began at 10pm Norwegian time. Involved In the meeting via video link. The neighboring countries of Moldova and Romania were also invited to attend the meeting.
– Absolute terror against civilians
Zelensky described Wednesday’s attack on civilian infrastructure as pure terrorism against civilians.
He said it was a flagrant crime against humanity.
Russia is trying through attacks against civilians what it has not achieved in nine months on the battlefield. He said the complete destruction of Ukraine.
– But we’ll get over this. We are not broken, Zelensky said.
It is clear that the goal is to terrorize civilians
Before going to the Security Council meeting, Norway’s ambassador to the United Nations, Mona Jol, said that she would “confront Russia and stress once again the need to stop this terrible war.”
In his report to the Security Council, Yul demanded that Russia immediately stop the attacks and withdraw from Ukraine.
– The increasing Russian aggression is alarming. It appeared to have no other purpose than to terrorize the population, Juul said, and was clearly illegal.
Jol assured Zelensky of Norway’s continued support.
Winter is used as a weapon
Officially, it was the United States and Albania that requested a meeting of the Security Council. The two countries’ ambassadors to the United Nations have strongly distanced themselves from what they described as targeted attacks on civilians, citing in particular the bombing of a maternity ward in which a newborn baby was killed.
Albania’s ambassador said Russia was a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, noted the “dire consequences” for the civilian population, which she called “shameful”.
– She said that Russia is using winter as a weapon to inflict enormous suffering on the Ukrainian people.
It also noted that attacks on the electricity supply increase the risk of a nuclear accident.
There is one small bright spot, UN Deputy Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo said in her post: Russia and Ukraine exchanged 35 Russian and 36 Ukrainian prisoners of war on Wednesday.
Russia: The West is to blame
He held Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations fully responsible for the damage to Ukraine and the West, saying that the destruction was caused by Ukrainian air defences.
Ukraine says it was attacked by Russian missiles. We stopped using rockets in March, July and September. What is falling now are the remnants of Ukrainian air defense. Therefore, he said, it was Western arms shipments to Ukraine that did the damage.
He also repeated previous Russian accusations that NATO is waging a war against Russia in Ukraine through proxies.
He also complained that President Zelensky was allowed to speak via video link, and noted that UN rules required in-person attendance at council meetings.
– It may be a violation of humanitarian law
Ukraine’s defense said that Russia fired about 70 missiles at Ukraine on Wednesday. They say 51 of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.
– It is important that Russia’s reckless and cynical attacks be put on the agenda. We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms. I am concerned, because there are attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and they may be a violation of humanitarian law, says Foreign Minister Anken Huitfeldt.
The attacks led to emergency measures at the Khmelnytskegee power station, the Pevdinokrainsk power station, and the Rivne power station. The three Ukrainian nuclear power plants still under Ukrainian control were disconnected from the power grid after the Russian attacks.
– He’sAttacks on electricity and water supplies, people don’t have access to electricity, starve and get sick. The foreign minister says it affects children in particular, so it’s quite a cruel situation for people in Ukraine.
What can the Security Council do specifically tonight?
– Russia has on several occasions blocked any statements from the Security Council because they have veto power. But what they can’t prevent is that the council debates these questions and all sides are covered. It’s important to hold Russia accountable, Huitfeldt says, and we’re doing that by putting that on the agenda.
Ukrainian attack in Luhansk
On Wednesday evening, Reuters reported that about 50 Russian soldiers were killed and up to 50 others were wounded in a Ukrainian attack on a Russian ammunition depot in the eastern Luhansk region.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said this on Facebook without giving details about when and how the attack was carried out. This information has not been confirmed by other sources.
The same was true of another Ukrainian offensive further south in the Zaporizhia region, where up to 15 Russian soldiers were killed and about 20 wounded.
Three dead in Kyiv
The United Nations has trusted 6,965 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia attacked the country on February 24 through November 20. Among them, 415 are children. The real numbers are probably much higher.
In recent weeks, Russia has attacked Ukrainian infrastructure several times.
In the capital, Kyiv, three people were killed and six injured in today’s attack, according to city rescue teams.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says the attacks hit infrastructure hard.
He also says that the city’s water supply has been cut off due to the attacks.
The mayor said earlier that Kyiv should be prepared because this could be the worst winter since World War II.
Afraid of the winter cold
The city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, was also attacked. According to the mayor, the city is completely devoid of electricity.
Hotel receptionist Marta lights up the corridors of a city hotel.
She says she is afraid of winter.
– We’re used to this. She says to NRK, but I’m so afraid of the dark and the cold and what the winter will be like.
On Wednesday evening, the Ukrainian authorities said that the power supply was cut off in almost all parts of the country.
struck neighboring countries
Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova lost electricity in half of the country on Wednesday as a result of the attacks in Ukraine, but in Moldova, 90% of the power grid was back up and running by 10 p.m.
Earlier this month, the country was also affected by a power outage due to attacks on the neighboring country.
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