Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday called on the United Nations Security Council to take action to end Russian airstrikes on vital infrastructure that have once again plunged Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold as winter sets in.
“Today is only one day, but we have received 70 missiles. That is the Russian formula of terror,” Zelenskyy said via video link to the Council Chamber in New York.
He said hospitals, schools, transportation infrastructure and residential areas were all affected.
“When we have sub-zero temperatures and millions of people without energy, without heating, without water, this is an obvious crime against humanity,” he said at the New York rally.
In his speech, Zelenskyy called for the adoption of a UN resolution condemning energy terror. Ukraine is waiting for “a very firm response” to Wednesday’s airstrikes from around the world, he added.
It is unlikely that the Council will take any action on the appeal, as Russia is a veto member. However, Zelenskyy called for Russia not to be allowed to vote on a decision about his actions.
“We cannot be held hostage by one international terrorist,” he said. “Russia is doing everything it can to make an energy generator a more powerful tool than the UN Charter.”
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya responded by complaining that it was against council rules for Zelenskyy to appear via video, and rejected what he called “reckless threats and ultimatums” from Ukraine and its supporters in the West.
Here are the other major headlines from the war in Ukraine on Thursday, November 24:
German deputy foreign minister accuses Russia of ‘state terrorism’
Germany’s Minister of State for Europe and Climate, Anna Lührmann, has told TBEN that the Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure amounted to “state terrorism”.
“It is clear that Putin wants Ukraine to sink into cold and darkness this winter,” she told TBEN’s Nick Connolly during a visit to Kiev amid the recent spate of Russian airstrikes.
“Ukrainians are facing all of this with great courage and we are here to help them face these challenges,” she said.
Lührmann, one of three deputies under Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, said she had come to Ukraine with another €55 million ($57.3 million) in aid, including generators that will arrive in the coming days.
“Ukraine has our full solidarity. I believe that not only Ukraine would benefit from EU membership, the EU will be a better place with Ukraine as a member,” she added.
Macron: Russian strikes are ‘war crimes’
French President Emmanuel Macron has joined the chorus of European leaders and senior officials condemning Russia’s latest attacks on energy infrastructure.
“Any attack on civilian infrastructure constitutes a war crime and should not go unpunished,” Macron said.
He announced an aid conference to be held in Paris in December to raise funds for the winter months. It follows a similar conference earlier this week to raise money for Moldova.
The French president said he intends to establish a direct line on the fate of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine is struggling to meet electricity demand and ongoing threats to the facility pose a serious health and environmental risk.
Macron added: “Russian strategy is to discourage people on the ground.”
More coverage of the war in Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said it was clear that Russia was fighting a losing battle in Ukraine. Meanwhile, France’s Emmanuel Macron is preparing to resume “direct contact” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Germany’s “ring exchange” of tanks to avoid directly arming Ukraine got off to a slow start. But some experts see it as the prelude to a shift in German security policy.
zc, dh/rt (TBEN, TBEN, dpa, Reuters)