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Russia plans new attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure: Zelensky

07.11.2022 10:00
Ukraine’s president has warned that Russia is concentrating forces for fresh attacks on his country’s critical infrastructure using Iranian drones.
Volodymyr Zelensky.
Volodymyr Zelensky.PAP/EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko

Volodymyr Zelensky issued the warning in his video address to the nation on Sunday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Ukrainian president said: “Today, the occupiers used Iranian attack drones again. There are downed ones. But, unfortunately, there are also hits.”

He added: “We also understand that the terrorist state is concentrating forces and means for a possible repetition of mass attacks on our infrastructure. First of all, energy. In particular, for this, Russia needs Iranian missiles.”

“We are preparing to respond,” Zelensky stated.

He stressed that Iran’s “complicity in Russian terror must be punished.” He added that “absolutely everyone who helps Russia prolong this war must bear responsibility for the consequences of this war along with it.”

Zelensky said: “If it was not for the Iranian supply of weapons to the aggressor, we would be closer to peace now.”

Meanwhile, “stabilisation blackouts" continued in Kyiv "and six regions," according to Zelensky.

"More than 4.5 million consumers are without electricity," he said. "Most of them are now in Kyiv and the Kyiv region.”

The so-called cascade blackouts are designed to protect Ukraine’s energy infrastructure from being overloaded after it was damaged by Russian strikes, the PAP news agency reported. 

Zelensky also said on Sunday night that “very fierce Russian attacks” continued in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. 

He added: “The enemy suffers serious losses there, but despite everything, despite any losses, [Russia] continues to drive its mobilised soldiers and mercenaries to their deaths.”

Some Kyiv residents prepare to leave city

Meanwhile, some residents of Kyiv were preparing to leave the city and stay with relatives in other parts of Ukraine, while others have vowed to stay in the capital, the PAP news agency reported.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced last Wednesday that authorities were setting up more than 1,000 heating points throughout the city in case the heating system was disabled by continued Russian attacks, according to the Reuters news agency.

Klitschko has urged the people of Kyiv to prepare for various scenarios, including evacuation, the PAP news agency reported.

Railway headquarters on fire in Donetsk

A large fire broke out at the headquarters of the railway administration in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Donetsk City on Monday morning, the Ukrainska Pravda website reported.  

Oleksii Kulemzin, the Russian-installed mayor of Donetsk, said on Telegram that the facility, located in central Donetsk, caught fire after being hit by shells, with the building’s wall having been breached between the third and fourth floors.

Kulemzin also posted a photo of the damaged and burning building, according to Ukrainska Pravda. 

Russians kidnap and torture Ukrainian civilians in Luhansk, Kherson

In the occupied settlements of the eastern Luhansk region and the southern Kherson province, Russian forces were kidnapping and torturing local people as they searched for “subversive groups,” Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Monday. 

In its latest operational update on the war, Ukraine’s military command said that in Kherson City, the occupying forces, “disguised in civilian clothes,” were preparing for street battles, as Ukrainian troops advanced on the city. 

430 Ukrainian children killed during Russian invasion 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, a total of 44,869 Russian crimes of aggression and war crimes have been registered, according to the Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General. 

The figure includes 43,312 violations of the laws and customs of war, 73 crimes of planning, preparing or initiating and waging war of aggression, 39 crimes of war propaganda and 1,445 other crimes, Ukrainian prosecutors said on Telegram on Sunday, as cited by the PAP news agency.    

In addition, 430 Ukrainian children were killed and 827 injured during the Russian invasion, according to incomplete data, Ukrainian officials said.  

Senior US defence official heads to Poland to discuss support for Ukraine

The US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Celeste Wallander, on Saturday embarked on a trip to Turkey and Poland  for “high-level defense consultations,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Sunday.

In Poland, Wallander is set to “participate in a High-Level Defense Group with the Polish Ministry of Defense to discuss support to Ukraine, defense procurement issues, and European security,“ reporters were told. 

Russia tones down nuclear rhetoric

Meanwhile, Russia has begun to de-escalate its pronouncements on the use of nuclear weapons amid the continuing invasion of Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

In its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, the US-based think tank said: “Key Kremlin officials began collectively de-escalating their rhetoric regarding the use of nuclear weapons in early November.”

The ISW added that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on “the prevention of nuclear war” on November 2, stating that Russia “is strictly and consistently guided by the postulate of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war in which there can be no winners, and which must never be unleashed.”

Moreover, the Russian ministry stated that it was “committed to the reduction and limitation of nuclear weapons,” the US experts reported. 

Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on October 27 that “Russia has no need to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine” and claimed “Russia has never discussed the possibility of using nuclear weapons,” only “hinting at the statements made by leaders of Western countries,” the Washington-based think tank said.

According to the ISW, "Russian nuclear use in Ukraine remains unlikely" and "the Kremlin is currently taking steps to deescalate its nuclear rhetoric."

The US experts noted that the Kremlin’s "nuclear threats failed to undermine Ukrainian political and societal will to continue to oppose Russia’s invasion," with Ukraine and its international backers making clear that "they will not accept negotiations at gunpoint and will not renounce Ukraine’s sovereign right to its territories."

Moreover, "the Kremlin’s rhetorical shift indicates that senior Russian military commanders and elements of the Kremlin are likely to some extent aware of the massive costs for little operational gain Russia would incur for the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine or NATO," the ISW wrote. 

Monday is day 257 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, president.gov.ua, pravda.com.ua, defense.gov, understandingwar.org