1669513654 origin 1

Freezing Ukraine gradually restores power after Russian attacks on grid

origin 1

By Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth

KYIV (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Ukrainian authorities on Friday gradually restored power, aided by the reconnection of the country’s four nuclear power plants, but millions of people were still in the dark after the most devastating Russian airstrikes of the war.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has implored Ukrainians to use energy sparingly. “If there is electricity, that doesn’t mean you can turn on several powerful electrical appliances at the same time,” he said in an evening video address.

He said 6 million people were still without electricity, half of the number in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s Russian assault. The attacks caused the worst damage so far in the conflict, leaving millions without electricity, water or heating even as temperatures dropped below freezing.

National grid operator Ukrenergo said several hours earlier that 30% of electricity supplies were still down and asked people to cut back on energy use. “The repair crews are working around the clock,” he said in a statement on Telegram.

Zelenskiy traveled to the town of Vyshhorod, just north of Kiev, on Friday to observe a four-story building damaged by a Russian missile. He also visited one of the many emergency centers that have been set up to provide heat, water, electricity and mobile communications.

“Together we will be able to face this difficult path for our country. We will overcome all challenges and will definitely win,” he said in an earlier video statement.

Moscow says the attacks on basic infrastructure are militarily legitimate and that Kiev can end the suffering of its people if it gives in to Russian demands. Ukraine says attacks intended to cause civilian suffering are a war crime.

The European Union will step up efforts to provide Ukraine with support to restore and maintain electricity and heating, said the head of the European Commission.

Russia insists it will not target civilians in a “special military operation” launched in late February. International human rights officials say attacks on civilian infrastructure are difficult to reconcile.

“Millions of people have been plunged into extreme hardship and appalling living conditions,” UN human rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

Moscow says it has launched its operation in Ukraine to protect Russian speakers in what President Vladimir Putin has called an artificial country carved out of Russian territory.

“Russia is first of all about the people, their culture, their traditions, their history, which is passed down from generation to generation and absorbed with mother’s milk,” he said during a televised meeting with the soldiers’ mothers.

Putin said he shared the women’s pain, telling them that “the main guarantee of our success is our unity”.

Ukraine and the West argue that Putin has no justification for what they say is a war of conquest.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has visited Ukraine and pledged millions of pounds in further support, his office said on Friday. Cleverly, that he met Zelenskiy en route, he condemned Russia for its “brutal attacks” on civilians, hospitals and energy infrastructure.

Hungarian President Katalin Novak was traveling to Kiev to meet with Zelenskiy, Hungarian news website index.hu reported on Friday.

Kiev says Russia has relentlessly shelled Kherson, the southern Ukrainian city it abandoned earlier this month. The head of the local government said on Friday that 15 people had been killed and 35 injured in the past six days.

Though the EU is developing more sanctions to slap Russia in the face, the 27-nation bloc is divided over a Group of Seven proposal to cap prices for seaborne Russian oil. A meeting to discuss the idea, scheduled for Friday, has been cancelled, EU diplomats said.


The International Atomic Energy Agency said three nuclear power plants on Ukrainian territory had been reconnected to the grid, two days after attacks forced them to shut down for the first time in 40 years.

The fourth station, in Zaporizhzhia, is in Russian-controlled territory. It came back online on Thursday.

Kiev says the war reflects what it sees as malice towards Ukrainians dating back to Soviet and imperial times.

This week, Ukrainians will mark the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor famine.

In November 1932, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sent police to seize all grain and livestock from newly collectivized farms, including the seed needed to plant the next crop.

Millions of Ukrainian peasants starved to death in the following months in what Yale University historian Timothy Snyder calls “a clearly premeditated mass murder.”

Germany’s Bundestag parliament is expected to vote overwhelmingly to recognize it as genocide, following similar moves this week by Romania, Moldova and Ireland.

Russia rejects allegations that the deaths were caused by a deliberate policy of genocide, saying Russians and other ethnic groups also suffered from the famine.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Tom Balmforth; Additional reporting by Stefaniia Bern, David Ljunggren and RockedBuzz via Reuters bureaux; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

origin 1
origin 1
origin 1
origin 1
origin 1
origin 1