Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure amount to genocide, says top Ukrainian official

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general says strikes on key facilities target ‘the full Ukrainian nation’

Maroosha Muzaffar
Monday 28 November 2022 09:10 GMT
Related: Vladimir Putin says he speaks to soldiers in Ukraine on the phone

A top Ukrainian official has said that Russia’s attacks on critical energy infrastructure across the war-torn country amounted to genocide.

Ukrainian prosecutor-general Andriy Kostin added that the strikes on the key facilities targeted “the full Ukrainian nation” and were bids to force Kyiv to surrender.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Kostin said on Sunday that besides the attacks on the energy grid, 11,000 Ukrainian children had been forcibly deported to Russia.

He said that his office was investigating reports of more than 49,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Meanwhile, millions of people across Ukraine are facing power cuts in freezing weather, following sustained Russian attacks.

On Saturday, Ukrainian authorities attempted to restore electricity and water services after recent pummeling by the Russian military that vastly damaged infrastructure. President Volodymyr Zelensky said millions have seen their power restored since blackouts swept the war-battered country days earlier.

Skirmishes continued in the east and residents from the southern city of Kherson headed north and west after deadly bombardments by Russian forces in recent days.

The strikes have been seen as attempts at Russian retribution against Ukraine’s beleaguered but defiant people after Ukrainian troops, over two week ago, liberated a city that had been in Russian hands for many months.

“The key task of today, as well as other days of this week, is energy,” Mr Zelenskyy said in his nightly televised address. “From Wednesday to today we have managed to halve the number of people whose electricity is cut off, to stabilise the system.”

He said, however, that blackouts continued in most regions, including Kyiv, the capital.

Mr Kostin also called for the creation of an “international ad-hoc tribunal” supported by countries of “the whole civilised world” who opposed the invasion to hold Russia to account.

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