UN:Russia Ups Attacks on Ukraine Energy12/07 06:36
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Intensifying Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy
facilities are worsening humanitarian conditions across the war-torn country,
where heavy snow and freezing temperatures have already arrived, U.N. officials
Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca told the U.N. Security Council
that Russia's continuing daily attacks on Ukraine's critical civilian
infrastructure have resulted in civilian casualties, and Moscow recently
escalated its barrages in populated areas including the capital, Kyiv.
"All attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure must stop
immediately," he said. "They are prohibited under international humanitarian
law and are simply unacceptable."
Jenca also raised the risks to all four of Ukraine's nuclear power plants.
The Zaporizhzhia plant, which is Europe's largest, suffered its eighth
complete off-site power outage since the invasion on Saturday, according to the
International Atomic Energy Agency, Jenca said. And IAEA staff at the
Khmelnitsky plant in western Ukraine reported hearing several explosions close
by on Nov. 29.
Ramesh Rajasingham, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator, told the council "the
deaths, injuries and level of destruction of vital civilian infrastructure is
"Many people have been left without access to heat, electricity and water,
particularly in the east and south," he said. "Amid freezing temperatures, this
damage is particularly threatening the survival of the most vulnerable -- among
them the elderly and those with disabilities."
After more than 21 months of fighting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in
February 2022, Rajasingham said, "millions of children, women and men are now
faced with the prospect of yet another winter of severe hardship amid the
impact of increased attacks on hospitals, electricity transmission systems, and
gas and water supplies."
U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood reminded the council that last winter
"Russia sought to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure and deprive people of
heat and electricity at the coldest time of the year."
The United States expects Russia to try again this winter, he said, noting
that it has already carried out air strikes "that appear to target defensive
systems put in place to protect energy infrastructure."
Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky accused Western nations of
calling the council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine without
anything extraordinary happening in order "to spew anti-Russian invective."