Dhe Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has called on the population to hold out in the face of massive Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure. “Enduring the Russian energy terror is now our national task,” Zelenskyy said in his evening video address on Thursday. He spoke of around 4.5 million people who were repeatedly affected by emergency shutdowns, especially in Kyiv and ten other areas.
The fact that Russia has recently been increasingly attacking thermal power stations and power plants is “a sign of weakness,” said Zelenskyj. Unable to achieve success on the battlefield, the Russian army is now trying to “break” the Ukrainians on this path. But this will not succeed. Friday is the 254th day of the war.
Zelenskyj: G-20 participation only without Putin
Ukraine is making its participation in the G-20 summit on November 15 and 16 in Indonesia dependent on its wartime enemy Russia. If Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin travels to the meeting, he will not attend, said Zelenskyj in Kyiv, according to the Unian agency. This is his “personal position and the position of the country”. Putin has so far left open whether he will travel to Bali.
USA: Ukraine can retake territory
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has expressed confidence that Ukrainians can still retake Russian-held areas on the western side of the Dnipro River and around the city of Kherson. “I think they’re capable of that,” Austin said Thursday in Washington. “Most importantly, Ukrainians themselves believe they can do it.”
The US is playing a central role in supplying arms and other aid to Ukraine in defense against Russia’s war of aggression, which has been ongoing since February. Western security circles announced on Thursday that Russia was preparing to withdraw from Cherson in southern Ukraine. The strategically important city was one of the first to be occupied by Russian troops and is one of the four areas that Kremlin chief Putin recently declared part of Russia, in violation of international law.
Baerbock announces G-7 winter aid to Ukraine
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has announced a coordinated action by the G-7 group of economically strong democracies on winter aid for Ukraine. “The joint sanctions that we initiated are now being followed by joint winter aid from G-7 partners,” said the Greens politician on Thursday at the start of the consultations in Münster. Many other countries have already announced that they will join. Russia recently launched a targeted attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. “This winter aid also means that we do not accept that peace and international law will be broken over the winter,” said Baerbock.
Despite Russian vetoes, OSCE continues to work in Ukraine
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has resumed its limited work in support of Ukraine, despite a veto from Moscow. With around 70 employees in Kyiv, among other things, psychosocial services are to be strengthened, demining promoted and illegal arms trade curbed, as OSCE diplomats reported on Thursday at the organization’s headquarters in Vienna. Germany, Poland, the USA and Nordic countries are among the countries that have pledged around 7 million euros for 23 projects so far.
Moscow summons British ambassador to Foreign Ministry
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow has called in the British Ambassador because of London’s alleged involvement in a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The conversation with Ambassador Deborah Bronnert on Thursday lasted about half an hour, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that Bronnert would be presented with evidence of the involvement of British specialists in the preparation of the drone attack on Saturday. The evidence should be made public.
Jailed basketball player Griner was allowed to meet US diplomats
US basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being held in Russia, has met with US embassy staff. She is doing as well as possible under the circumstances, said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday. She reiterated that the US had made a “significant offer” to the Kremlin to release Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan, who is also being held in Russia, to which the Russian side has still not responded. Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February with a small amount of hashish and was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Moscow court in early August.
That will be important on Friday
The meeting of the G-7 foreign ministers, chaired by the German Foreign Minister Baerbock, ends in Münster – one of the topics is Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In Moscow, Russian President Putin visits the exhibition “Ukraine. Through the ages”.