Russian bombings have damaged “nearly half” of Ukraine’s electricity grid since October and left many towns without power, at a time that coincides with falling temperatures.
“Almost half of our energy system was out of order,” declared this Friday (18) the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Chmygal, at a press conference in Kiev together with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis .
To face this situation, Chmygal asked for “additional help” from the European Union for “the purchase of additional volumes of gas”.
Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since October, and the Russian Ministry of Defense has ensured that all targets, both military and energy, have been destroyed. The latest attacks took place on Thursday (17) and coincided with the first snowfall in the country.
Authorities warned of “difficult” days, and Ukraine’s President Volodmir Zelensky said more than 10 million users were without electricity.
For its part, Russia on Friday accused Ukraine of committing a “war crime” after videos began to circulate on social media showing alleged executions of Russian servicemen by Ukrainian soldiers.
“Nobody will be able to present the deliberate and methodical murder of more than ten immobilized Russian soldiers […]with direct shots to the head, as a ‘tragic exception,'” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
As of late afternoon, Ukraine had not responded to these allegations.
Kiev has repeatedly claimed that the Russian army committed “war crimes” and “atrocities” during its occupation of part of the capital region in March and of some recently liberated regions of Kharkiv and Kherson.
The Ukrainian commissioner for human rights affairs in parliament, Dmytro Lubynets, said on Thursday that the “magnitude” of torture cases in Kherson was “horrible”. The city, capital of the homonymous region, was reconquered a week ago by Ukrainian troops, who launched a counteroffensive at the end of the summer.
“The Russians not only killed and mined, they also looted our cities”, denounced the senior official of the Ukrainian Presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.