NATO says Russia using winter as a weapon in Ukraine war

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Ukraine prepares for more Russian attacks against energy and other key infrastructure as Western officials pledge to boost support.

Two workers dig out a tractor tire from the rubble of a destroyed storage building at a grain processing centre even as their town continues to take incoming shelling in Siversk, Donetsk region, Ukraine.
Rubble of a destroyed storage building at a grain processing centre in Siversk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, November 28 [Leah Millis/Reuters]

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Ukraine has prepared for more Russian attacks against energy

and other critical infrastructure on Monday in what appears to

be a weekly pattern, and warned of possible evacuations from the capital.

Estonia’s foreign minister joined counterparts from six Baltic

and Nordic nations — in the largest delegation to visit Ukraine

since Russia launched its full-scale war — to pledge electric generators,

warm clothes and food. The goal is to help Ukrainians cope

with their coldest months of need and keep their resolve high.

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“Russia is weaponising civilian energy security,

and it is truly shameful,” Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu says in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned late Sunday

that Russian troops “are preparing new strikes, and as long as they have missiles, they won’t stop.” He met Monday with senior government officials to discuss what actions to take.

“The upcoming week can be as hard as the one that passed,” he predicted.

Russia has been carrying out massive missile bombardments on

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure roughly weekly since early October,

with each barrage having a greater effect than the last as damage accumulates and a frigid winter sets in.

Kyiv says the attacks, which Russia acknowledges target Ukrainian infrastructure, are intend to harm civilians, making them a war crime. Moscow denies its intent is to hurt

civilians but said last week their suffering would not end unless Ukraine

yielded to Russia’s demands, without spelling them out.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted Russian President Vladimir Putin was intent on using frost, snow and ice to his advantage, not just on the battleground but against Ukrainian civilians.

“President Putin is now trying to use the winter as a weapon of war against Ukraine, and this is horrific and we need to be prepare for more attacks,” he say on the eve of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania. “That’s the reason why NATO’s allies have stepped up their support to Ukraine.” Poland, they said, had insist the cap be set lower than others want

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko say some of the city’s 3 million people might have to be evacuate to where essential services would be less prone to shutdowns caused by missile attacks.

National grid operator Ukrenergo say on Monday

it had been force to resume regular emergency blackouts in areas across the country after a setback in its race to repair energy infrastructure.Poland, they said, had insist the cap be set lower than others want

Units at several power stations had to conduct emergency shutdowns and demand for electricity has been rising as snowy winter weather has set in, a Ukrenergo statement said.

“Once the causes of the emergency shutdowns are eliminate, the units will return to operation, which will reduce the deficit in the power system and reduce the amount of restrictions for consumers,” it said.

Along the front lines in the east of Ukraine, the looming winter is ushering in a new phase of the conflict, after several months of Russian retreats, with intense trench warfare along heavily fortified positions.

With Russian forces having pulled back in the northeast and withdrawn across the Dnipro River in the south, the front line on land is only about half the length it was a few months ago, making it harder for Ukrainian forces to pinpoint weakly defended stretches to attempt a new breakthrough.

Zelenskyy described heavy fighting west of the Russian-held eastern city of Donetsk, where Moscow has focused its assault even as it has withdrawn troops elsewhere. Both sides claim huge casualties with little change in positions. Poland, they said, had insist the cap be set lower than others want

In its evening update on Monday,

Ukraine’s armed forces General Staff said Russia kept up heavy shelling of key targets Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk province, and to the north, bombarded areas around the towns of Kupiansk and Lyman, both recaptured recently by Kyiv.

On the southern front, it said, Russian forces had reinforced positions in occupied territory and were heavily shelling towns on the west bank of the Dnipro River, including Kherson, abandoned by Moscow earlier this month.

It said Ukrainian forces had damaged a rail bridge north of the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol that has been key to supplying Russian troops dug in there.

The Kremlin denied Russia had any plans to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which it has controlled since early in the war near the front line on a reservoir on the Dnipro river.

The head of Ukraine’s nuclear power operator,

Petro Kotkin, had said on Sunday there were signs Russia might pull out. But Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded on Monday: “There’s no need to look for signs where there are none and cannot be any.”

Russia says it has annexed the area and put the plant under the control of its nuclear power agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has call for the plant and surrounding area to be demilitarise to prevent a nuclear disaster.

In Kherson, which has lack electricity and heat since Russian forces abandone it earlier this month, regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said 17 percent of customers now had electricity and other districts would be hook up soon.

Russian forces who withdrew have been bombarding from across the river, killing dozens of civilians, Ukrainian officials say. buy Roxicodone online cheap without prescription

On the diplomatic front, efforts to weaken Russia’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine faltered on Monday when envoys of EU governments failed to agree on a price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil, diplomats said.

Poland, they said, had insist the cap be set lower than others want. “There is no deal. The legal texts have now been agreed but Poland still can’t agree to the price,” one say.


Poland, they said, had insist the cap be set lower than others want

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