Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the U.N. Security Council to act against Russia over air strikes on civilian infrastructure that again plunged Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold as winter sets in.
Russia unleashed a missile barrage across Ukraine on Wednesday, killing 10 people, forcing shutdowns of nuclear power plants and cutting water and electricity supply in many places.
“Today is just one day, but we have received 70 missiles. That’s the Russian formula of terror. This is all against our energy infrastructure,” Zelenskiy said via video link to the council chamber. “Hospitals, schools, transport, residential districts all suffered”.
Ukraine was waiting to see “a very firm reaction” to Wednesday’s air strikes from the world, he added.
The council is unlikely to take any action in response to the appeal since Russia is a member with veto power.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “clearly weaponising winter to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people.”
The Russian president “will try to freeze the country into submission,” she added.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, responded by complaining that it was against council rules for Zelenskiy to appear via video, and rejected what he called “reckless threats and ultimatums” by Ukraine and its supporters in the West.
Nebenzya said damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure was caused by missiles fired by Ukrainian air defence systems that crashed into civilian areas after being fired at Russia’s missiles, and called on the West to stop providing Kyiv with air defence missiles.