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NATO promises Ukraine more help amid Russia’s strikes

NATO promised more arms and equipment for Ukraine to help restore power supplies cut by Russian strikes.

• November 30, 2022
RAVAGED UKRAINE and NATO LEADERS
RAVAGED UKRAINE and NATO LEADERS

Allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) promised more arms and equipment for Ukraine to help restore power supplies cut by Russian strikes.

Foreign ministers from the NATO alliance, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, began a two-day meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday, seeking ways to keep Ukrainians safe and warm and sustain Kyiv’s military through a coming winter campaign.

“We need air defence, IRIS, Hawks, Patriots, and transformers (for our energy needs),” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO meeting, enumerating various Western air defence systems. In a nutshell: Patriots and transformers are what Ukraine needs the most.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “trying to use winter as a weapon of war” as Moscow’s forces lose ground on the battlefield.

This is coming as President Volodymyr Zelensky said his forces were defending against attempted Russian advances in multiple regions.

U.S. and European officials said ministers would focus in their talks on non-lethal aid such as fuel, medical supplies and winter equipment, and military assistance. Washington said it would provide $53 million to buy power grid equipment.

U.S. President Joe Biden said providing more military assistance for Ukraine was a priority. 

But Republicans, who take control of Congress’ House of Representatives in January, have talked about pausing the funding, which has surpassed $18 billion.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s General Staff said its forces had repelled six Russian attacks in the past 24 hours in the eastern Donbas region, while Russian artillery had relentlessly shelled the right bank of the Dnipro River and Kherson city further south.

Ukrainians on Tuesday fled for bomb shelters after air-raid warning sirens, although the all-clear later sounded across the country. Russian forces pounded Ukrainian targets with artillery, mortar, and tank fire in the eastern Donetsk region.

Mr Zelensky said the Russian military was also attacking Luhansk in the east and Kharkiv in the northeast, which Ukraine recaptured in September.

Since October, Russia has launched huge attacks on Ukraine’s electricity transmission and heating infrastructure. Kyiv and its allies say it is a deliberate campaign to harm civilians, a war crime.

In Kyiv, snow fell, and temperatures were hovering around freezing as millions in and around the capital struggled to heat their homes.

An official with the power company said on Facebook that 985,500 customers in Kyiv were without power, and another electricity provider said the city would have emergency power cuts on Wednesday.

In a brief posting on Telegram, Kherson region Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said electricity had been restored to half of the city of Kherson on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces struck a power plant in Russia’s Kursk region, causing some electricity outages, Roman Starovoyt, the region governor, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Early on Wednesday, a large oil storage tank was on fire in Russia’s Bryansk region bordering Ukraine’s northeast, a local governor said. He added that there were no reported casualties without commenting on the cause of the blaze.

(Reuters/NAN)

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