Russia using winter as weapon of mass destruction, says Zelensky

Kherson resistance fighter recalls killing Russian soldier

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Heating systems and water supplies are also being hit by the Kremlin’s missile attacks. Ukraine’s leader warned the UN Security Council that Russia was guilty of “an obvious crime against humanity” and it had adopted a “formula of terror”.

The World Health Organisation predicts a catastrophe as hospitals lack energy supplies.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, said Russia was “weaponising winter” to inflict immense suffering.

She added: “Having struggled on the battlefield, Moscow is now adopting a cowardly and inhumane strategy that punishes men, women and children.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron called Russia’s strikes on civil infrastructure a war crime – 70 missiles hit Ukraine, killing 10 and causing power blackouts across the country on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rockets did caused major damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, forcing three nuclear power plants to shut. Specialists were working to get them running again by today.

Three quarters of Kyiv lost power yesterday and the capital’s water supply was also hit. A thick, wet mist shrouded the city yesterday – the only lights piercing the dark were car headlamps.

But defiant Mr Zelensky vowed on social media: “Light always prevails over darkness.”

He called into question Russia’s membership of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) given its invasion of his country.

Mr Zelensky made his comments in a video address to the regional security body’s Parliamentary Assembly in the Polish capital Warsaw.

Power cuts are a fact of life for beleaguered Ukrainians as is intermittent access to the internet. Food shops struggle with credit card payments and phone communications are disrupted.

In the west of the country power, water and heating were restored to Lviv after the city of more than 700,000 was left without electricity, said mayor Andriy Sadovyi.

More than half of Ukraine’s neighbour Moldova also had its electricity cut, although power was restored to much of the capital Chisinau within hours.

Its foreign ministry reportedly summoned Russia’s envoy, condemning the “dramatic consequences” for Moldova of the “brutal bombing of Ukraine”.

Russia said it used “high-precision” weapons and only on energy sites linked to Ukraine’s armed forces.

The Kremlin bragged that the bombardment had achieved its aims – disrupting the movement of Ukrainian reservists, and the transport of arms and ammunition from abroad to war zones.

Defence officials claimed that “not a single strike” hit Kyiv and suggested damage in civilian areas had been caused by Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles.

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