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Ukraine: A Massive New Strike



Image source: BBC News




Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has put out a statement urging citizens to conserve energy as Russian strikes wreak havoc on the country's power grid and energy infrastructure. “The main target of terrorists is energy. We are trying to bring back lights to people as soon as possible."  




According to Ukraine's air force, more than a dozen Russian missiles struck energy facilities and other infrastructure across the country. 




The strikes have resulted in blackouts across the country, with Kira Rudik, a member of Ukraine's parliament, tweeting that 1.5 million people were without power, that "Russia gets to use energy as a weapon again.”  




President Zelenskyy promised that, with the assistance of its partners, his military would improve on its already impressive record of missile downing. With resolute confidence, he addressed the public, assuring that, “Ukrainians are united and know for sure that Russia has no chance of winning this war. Our defense forces are getting everything they need to defend the country and are pushing forward every day – I emphasize: every day.” 




On Friday, Mr Zelensky accused Russia of planting mines at a hydroelectric dam in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, which is under the control of Moscow's forces. According to The Guardian, Moscow has acknowledged targeting energy infrastructure but denies targeting civilians. 




Despite this, the transfer or deportation of civilians by an occupying power from occupied territory is considered a war crime. As the BBC reports, in September the UN said there were “already credible accusations of forced deportation of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied areas”, though the Kremlin of course claimed that these accusations were unfounded. 




The New York Times reported that military advisers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were on Ukrainian soil, at a Russian military base in occupied Crimea. Both parties have denied the claims. The Guardian writes that, claims notwithstanding, the foreign office put out a statement announcing that “the UK is implementing new sanctions on three Iranian individuals and a business responsible for supplying Russia with drones used to bombard Ukraine”.  




The foreign office statement continues that with these actions, Iran is “actively warmongering, profiting off Russia’s abhorrent attacks on Ukrainian citizens, and adding to the suffering of the people and the destruction of critical infrastructure”. 




Ukraine has described the latest strikes as Russia’s retaliation for the counteroffensives by its army this autumn in far eastern and southern coastal regions that have liberated swaths of previously Russian-occupied territory. The Financial Times analyzes that Russia’s army, with the last few weeks of air strikes, prepares for a battle around the strategic southern city of Kherson. As a port city, bordering the Dnipro River which flows into the Black Sea, Kherson becomes of central importance in the coming weeks. 




Russian occupation authorities in Kherson have urged civilians to leave immediately, citing a "tense military situation." As many news outlets report, the conflict leaves civilians always bearing the brunt of the wartime casualties. Animosity between two countries only elevates, yet Russia refuses to back down regardless of the sanctions piling up.




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