A new wave of alleged Russian airstrikes on Monday cut off electricity and water in several Ukrainian cities where people are already dealing with temperatures below freezing, NPR reported.
Ukraine’s Air Force posted on Telegram claiming Russia inflicted a massive missile strike on critical parts of Ukrainian infrastructure (original message in Ukrainian, translation via Google Translate).
“The enemy really hopes to use winter against us: to make winter cold and hardship part of his terror,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement. “We have to do everything to endure this winter, no matter how hard it is. And we will endure. To endure this winter is to defend everything.”
Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a press briefing in Moscow in late November that the Russian military is not targeting civilian infrastructure.
“And as for the targets that are directly or indirectly related to military potential, they are, accordingly, subject for hitting,” he stated.
Power infrastructure is considered “dual use” according to international law and may be lawfully attacked in an international conflict.
Since October, Russia has been accused of bombing Ukraine’s power systems from the air to cut off electricity as the country heads into winter, The Dallas Express reported.
The last significant attack allegedly happened in late November. It damaged the electricity grid and cut power to most major cities, including Kyiv. Power companies in Ukraine are still working on getting electricity flowing again, and they claim the country is meeting about 70% of its energy needs.
“On November 23, Russian troops delivered a massive strike by long-range air-, sea-and ground-based precision weapons against Ukrainian military command and related energy sites,” stated Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, commenting on the barrage.
In response, NATO countries have stepped up assistance for Ukraine’s power supply, NPR reported.
“By repeatedly targeting critical energy infrastructure knowing this will deprive civilians of access to water, heat, and health services, Russia appears to be seeking unlawfully to create terror among civilians and make life unsustainable for them,” claimed Yulia Gorbunova, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.