It was a new rain of Russian missiles – 70 in total – which fell on Ukraine on Wednesday, November 23. Affecting energy infrastructures, the Russian army plunged millions of Ukrainians into darkness, “just as the Ukrainian meteorological service issued a snow and ice warning”, reports the Italian daily La Stampa.
“With temperatures below zero, several million people without energy supply, without heating and without water, this is obviously a crime against humanity”, castigated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who spoke by videoconference before the UN Security Council. The leader demanded that Russia not be able to vote on resolutions relating to his actions. “We cannot be hostages of an international terrorist”he said. “Russia is doing everything possible to make an electric generator a more powerful tool than the UN Charter.”
“Winter cold is becoming” a truly “armed” for Vladimir Putin, note it New York Times. The American daily recalls that “Russian fire forces the electricity network to cut power to almost all Ukrainians who find themselves without electricity between four and 12 hours a day”.
According to the director of the Ukrainian public energy network Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, “virtually all major thermal and hydroelectric power stations in the country have been damaged” by the Russian strikes of recent days, report it Kyiv Independent.
“4000 points of resilience” to pass the winter
Faced with the challenge of winter, Ukraine has opened some 4,000 refuge points on the territory, “places where people can get water, electricity and come to warm up”, tell it Suddeutsche Zeitung. “For many Ukrainians, these places could be vital for their survival.”
These “resilience points” as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls them, however, may not be “enough to get millions of people through the often harsh Ukrainian winter, during an extended power outage”notes the Bavarian daily.
The exodus of part of the population this winter is “a possibility”, reports the correspondent of the American public radio NPR in Kyiv, Greg Myre. For now, “Ukrainians want to stay put”, he notes. But the government is starting to talk about the possibility of displacement “in a limited and discreet way”. Authorities tell people who have left the big cities “not to come back this winter. They tell them: if you have relatives in the countryside, it is better to stay at their place where wood can be burned more easily”he explains.
Ukraine’s allies, for their part, have begun to mobilize to provide generators to the Ukrainians. European cities were called on Wednesday in the European Parliament to donate electrical appliances. The United States has announced that it will provide 400 million dollars in additional military aid to Ukraine, which will include generators to help the country in the face of power cuts.