Strikes in Russia are crime against humanity, Zelenskiy tells UN, while power goes out in Ukraine and Moldova | Ukraine

New Russian attacks have ravaged Ukraine’s already failing power grid, causing power outages across the country and neighboring Moldova.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council late Wednesday, Zelenskiy said Ukraine would introduce a resolution condemning “any form of energy terror”. Referring to Russia’s probable veto power, he said: “It is nonsense that the veto power is secured for the side fighting this war.”

“We cannot be held hostage by one international terrorist,” Zelensky said.

He also invited the UN to send experts to examine and evaluate Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.

“When we have temperatures below zero and tens of millions of people without energy, without heating, without water, this is an obvious crime against humanity,” Zelenskiy told the Security Council via video link.

It comes as talks between the G7 and other pro-Ukrainian allies to put a cap on the price of Russian oil, reportedly a setback, after a meeting between EU officials ended without agreement.

The price cap on Russian oil exports by sea will be part of the sanctions designed to punish Moscow by limiting its revenues from oil exports. EU diplomats were reportedly unable to agree on the price of the cap.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces had fired about 70 cruise missiles at targets across the country and also deployed attack drones.

The strikes killed 10 people and disconnected three nuclear power plants from the power grid, officials said.

The country’s energy ministry said supplies to “the vast majority of electricity consumers” have been cut off. All of Kiev lost water, the capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said. The city council said water and heating would return to residential buildings Thursday morning.

Residential blocks in Kiev without power after Russian strikes.
Residential blocks in Kiev were without power after Russian attacks. Photographer: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Late Wednesday, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office said Kiev and more than a dozen regions, including Lviv and Odessa in the south, had been reconnected to the power grid.

Klitschko said 21 of the 31 missiles aimed at Kiev were shot down before reaching their target. One of 10 that evaded defenses struck an apartment building in Vyshgorod, a northern suburb of the city, killing three people and injuring 15.

There was a kindergarten on the ground floor of the building, but it was evacuated after air raid sirens went off. The blast left a ten-foot crater in front of the building, destroyed apartments around it, blew away the tops of nearby trees and destroyed a children’s playground.

“He flew right over us. We heard a whistling sound and then it came down on the building,” says Ruslan Vorona, a local resident. He and his eight-year-old son Oleksii hid and charged their phones in a tent set up by the emergency services.

Another local man, Oleksandr, 28, who declined to give his last name, said: “There were a few explosions. Two were quieter and one was louder, and one of the missiles went right over my head.”

Earlier in the day, a newborn was killed when a Russian missile hit a maternity ward of a hospital in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian state emergency service said a woman with her two-day-old baby and a doctor were at the facility in Vilniansk city, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, when it was hit. The mother and doctor were pulled alive from the rubble by rescuers, but the baby died, the Telegram messaging app said.

At the Security Council meeting, UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo demanded that Russia immediately halt the attacks, which violate international humanitarian law, stressing that “accountability must be held for any violation of the laws of war” .

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Vladimir Putin “armed winter to make the Ukrainian people suffer intensely”.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that Moscow “carried out attacks on infrastructure in response to the rampant flow of weapons to Ukraine and Kiev’s reckless calls to defeat Russia.”

Firefighters are working on the site of an apartment building destroyed by strikes in Vyshhorod, near Kiev
At least 10 people have been killed in Russian attacks in Ukraine. Photo: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the latest string of Russian attacks came in response to a decision by the European Parliament to recognize Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” following its nine-month invasion of Ukraine, and its call for the 27-nation EU to follow.

“Unable to win a fair fight with the Ukrainian army, Russia is waging a cowardly terror war against civilians,” Kuleba said, urging Kiev’s Western backers to provide more air defense systems.

Wednesday’s decision by European lawmakers to recognize Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” is a symbolic political move with no legal ramifications.

Kiev has been calling on the international community for months to declare Russia a “terrorist state”, and the EU parliament’s decision is likely to enrage Moscow.

The resolution approved by EU lawmakers states that the “deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine … and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terrorism”.

Ukraine praised the decision, with Zelenskiy calling on Russia to “be held accountable to end its longstanding policy of terrorism in Ukraine and around the world”.

Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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