The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday asserted that Russia is making frantic efforts to use the cold this winter as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ by striking energy infrastructure.
Zelensky told a meeting of French mayors in a video message on Tuesday that ‘The Kremlin wants to transform the cold this winter into a weapon of mass destruction’.
‘To survive this winter and to prevent Russia transforming the cold into an instrument of terror and submission, we need a lot of things,’ he added.
He went on to urge the Association of French Mayors to send generators, support for de-mining operations, and equipment for Ukraine’s emergency services and medics.
‘I call on you to be very concrete with your help and to support out towns and communities against terrorism,’ he added.
The World Health Organization warned on Monday that millions of Ukrainian lives were at risk as the country’s power grid struggles under a barrage of Russian attacks.
Moscow has been deliberately targeting energy infrastructure, leaving millions of homes across the country without electricity as temperatures plunge.
‘This winter will be about survival,’ WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, told reporters on Monday, adding it would be ‘life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine’.
In another report, the Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak yesterday during his first visit to Kyiv pledged total support for Ukraine, offering a major new air defence package as the country celebrated retaking the southern city of Kherson.
Speaking in a press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Sunak said; ‘I am here today to say that the UK will continue to stand with you until Ukraine has won the peace and security it needs and deserves’.
The British leader went on to announce a new air defence package worth 50 million ($60 million).
This comprises ‘125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones, including dozens of radars and anti-drone electronic warfare capability,’ according to a statement from Downing Street.