Russia’s destruction of Kyiv’s energy infrastructure could prevent large swathes of the city of 3 million from heating homes and businesses this winter, its leader warned on Thursday.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko, speaking at a security forum, said if areas in Kyiv have no heat or water for 24 hours in sub-zero temperatures, heating systems will need to be drained.
“That means until spring it will be very difficult,” Klitschko said. “In a very short time, the temperature in the apartments may not differ much from that outside.”
Power outages are already a way of life in the city. Klitschko urged residents to prepare for worst-case scenarios, suggesting they could move in with family or friends who have the heat if winter in Kyiv becomes unbearable.
►Russia has postponed a series of nuclear arms control talks with the United States scheduled for this week because “it is impossible to discuss strategic stability today ignoring everything that is happening in Ukraine”, said the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
►Air raid warning sirens covered Ukraine on Thursday, except for Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine’s ICTV said. Russia has beaten many Ukrainian cities almost daily since the start of the war.
Biden and Russia say they are open to peace talks
A day when a senior Kremlin official opened the door to a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine, President Joe Biden said he would be willing to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Neither side expressed optimism about the possibility of a gathering of leaders or peace talks, but it was a rare indication of mutual willingness to find a solution to a conflict that began with the Russian invasion on February 24.
At a Thursday press conference in Washington where he and French President Emmanuel Macron attacked the war, Biden said he would speak with Putin “if he decided he was looking for a way to end the war. “.
“He hasn’t yet,” added Biden, who has always maintained that it would be up to Ukraine to decide what terms of a settlement it accepts.
Earlier Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Moscow was open to peace talks. Russia “has always said that we are ready to listen to those who are interested in a negotiated settlement”, he said.
Lavrov also accused the United States and NATO of “directly participating” in the war, but when asked if a meeting between Putin and Biden was possible, Lavrov replied that “we do not avoid contacts. adding, “We haven’t heard any serious ideas yet.”
Ukraine says Russian troops are leaving towns near biggest power station
Russian forces have started to withdraw from parts of the occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukrainian military said in its daily report. Russian troops abandoned a police station and a school in the town of Mykhailivka and fled the houses where they had been billeted in Polohy and Inzhenerne – stealing goods as they left, the report said.
Ukrainian authorities said last week it appeared Russia was preparing to exit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest. The Kremlin denied this information.
US and NATO ‘directly involved’ in war with Russia, Kremlin says
The United States and NATO are directly involved in the war in Ukraine, although a war between nuclear superpowers should be unthinkable because of the damage it could cause to the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday. .
“We watch with concern the rhetoric that the West is spouting, accusing us of allegedly preparing some kind of provocation using weapons of mass destruction,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov pointed out that the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other countries provide Ukraine’s advanced weaponry – and the soldiers who teach Ukraine how to use that weaponry. In doing so, Lavrov said the West is “directly participating in the war it is waging against Russia at the hands of the Ukrainians.”
Lavrov blamed the West for Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian power plants, which have limited access to electricity for millions of Ukrainians as winter approaches. He said that Russia is disabling the power plants that Ukraine needs to wage its war. The West, Lavrov said, is “pumping Ukraine with deadly weapons to kill the Russians, so don’t say the US and NATO are not involved in this war.”
According to Pentagon officials who briefed reporters this week, Russian missile strikes serve no legitimate military purpose. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Monday that 97% of Russian missile attacks since the start of the war were intended for civilian targets.
Pentagon officials: Russian attacks on civilians serve no military purpose
Russian forces have increasingly turned to “horrible” missile and drone attacks against civilian targets in Ukraine as Russian military efforts have failed, senior Pentagon officials said this week. The Russian attacks serve no legitimate military purpose, increase the risk of a security incident at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and appear to be aimed at punishing Ukrainian civilians as winter approaches, according to officials who briefed reporters undercover of anonymity.
Providing Ukraine with weapons to defend against Russian airstrikes has become the Pentagon’s top priority, a senior official said. Last week, the Pentagon began shipping $400 million worth of weapons, including air defense missiles. Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to fire thousands of artillery shells every day, a number that fluctuates as each side mounts attacks and counteroffensives, the official said.
Iran and North Korea continue to supply Russia with drones and artillery shells, the officials said.
– Tom Vanden Brook
A suspicious package exploded at the US Embassy in Madrid
Spanish police have detonated a suspicious envelope discovered at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spanish officials said Thursday. A similar package sent to the Ukrainian Embassy burst into flames when it was opened on Wednesday, injuring an employee. Police have reported that several explosive letters have been sent to Spain in the past two days, although Spanish authorities have established no strong link to the war in Ukraine.
The Russian Embassy in Madrid denounced the letter bombs, tweeting that “any terrorist threat or attack, especially those directed against diplomatic missions, is completely condemnable”.
Ukrainian town gets power and heat after cold week
Power is restored in the town of Ladyzhyn in central Ukraine, nearly a week after a Russian rocket attack severely damaged a thermal power plant. The attack left 18,000 people in the dark and cold as temperatures in the city hovered around freezing point. The Vinnytsia region emergency services agency declared a military emergency and local authorities deployed generators, charging stations, stoves and blankets.
Work is underway to diversify the heating system, said Serhiy Borzov, head of the Vinnytsia regional military administration.
“Neither winter frost, nor darkness, nor any other manifestation of terror will help the aggressor to conquer the Ukrainians,” Borzov said.
Fabulously popular but hard-to-see World Cup in Ukraine
Football is the most popular sport in Ukraine. rival clubs Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv are known throughout Europe. And the heroic but ill-fated effort of the Ukrainian national football team to reach the ongoing World Cup tournament in Qatar has not diminished interest in the event. But with power outages and spotty internet service, watching football’s greatest spectacle can be difficult.
“I have to live with it. I know who made this (happen),” said Hlib Kuian, a 21-year-old university economics student. “I know the Russian Federation wants me to live like this.”
Contributor: The Associated Press