Nfter a massive Russian missile attack, Ukrainian technicians have once again tried to repair their country’s badly damaged energy supply. The President’s Office in Kyiv reported the first successes late on Wednesday evening: In 15 areas there is electricity again, said Vice President Kyrylo Tymoshenko.
“The occupiers are doing everything to make people suffer, so that we don’t even feel or see each other,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening video address. He was also connected to a session of the UN Security Council in New York, where he called for Moscow to be condemned. Russia must be clearly designated as a terrorist state.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sharply condemned the bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. “This terror bombing against the civilian population must stop – immediately,” he said in Berlin. On Thursday, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine lasted exactly nine months: Russian troops invaded the neighboring country on February 24.
A dark night in Ukraine
Russia launched about 70 rockets and drones into Ukraine on Wednesday. According to the Air Force, 51 missiles and 5 drones were intercepted. But the remaining missiles killed ten people and again caused severe damage to Ukraine’s power grid. The country’s nuclear power plants shut down, and most thermal and hydroelectric power plants failed, the Energy Ministry said. Large-scale blackouts occurred.
According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, 80 percent of households in the capital Kyiv, with its three million inhabitants, were without electricity and water. Journalists reported that they had never seen the city so dark. The administration wanted to use hand-operated sirens and loudspeakers to warn of possible further air raids in parts of the city without electricity. “The situation in Kyiv is difficult,” Zelenskyy said. “The work lasts all night.” A result is not expected until Thursday morning.
Russia will continue to decimate Ukraine’s military potential until Kyiv takes a “realistic stance” on negotiations, Moscow ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia told the Security Council. The attacks on infrastructure are the answer “to the country being pumped full of Western weapons and the unwise calls for Kyiv to achieve a military victory over Russia”. Ukraine is banking on expelling Russian troops from all occupied territories.
Criticism of Russia’s missile attacks
Chancellor Scholz said of the attacks that Russian President Vladimir Putin was showing once again how ruthless and merciless he was in this war. “A war he can no longer win on the battlefield, that much seems clear.” He called on Putin to withdraw his troops and agree to peace talks with Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron described the attacks on Ukraine’s electricity and water supplies as war crimes that should have consequences. Nevertheless, Macron announced that he would soon be in contact with Putin again. The US also condemned the attacks.
At a defense summit of former Soviet republics, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for a peace deal in Russia’s war against Ukraine. “As for Ukraine, I think the time has come for a collective search for a peace formula,” Tokayev said at the summit of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
European politicians in solidarity with Kyiv
Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann (Greens) and Vice-President of the EU Parliament Nicola Beer (FDP) visited Ukraine with other European politicians on Wednesday. Lührmann announced another 40 million euros in humanitarian aid for the winter. Another five million euros would be spent on Ukrainian schools. Germany will also supply generators.
Poland proposes German anti-aircraft defenses in western Ukraine
On Wednesday, Poland changed its position on the Berlin proposal for a joint defense of the airspace on NATO’s eastern border. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter that German Patriot air defense systems should not be stationed in Poland, as planned, but in western Ukraine. “This would allow us to save Ukraine from further casualties and power outages and increase security on our eastern border.”
Last week, a rocket hit the village of Przewodow in eastern Poland, on the border with Ukraine, killing two civilians. Currently, the West assumes that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against attacks by the Russian military. Germany then offered Poland Patriot batteries and Eurofighters to protect NATO’s eastern border.
That will be important on Thursday
Repair work on the electricity grid of Ukraine will continue on Thursday. Ukraine is also expecting another ship to pick up grain for transport across the Black Sea. According to the UN, three ships carrying grain left Ukrainian ports on Wednesday. The United Nations and Turkey had made Ukrainian exports possible in coordination with Russia.