(Kyiv) Nearly 4.5 million people in Ukraine were without electricity overnight from Thursday to Friday due to Russian strikes against the country’s infrastructure, President Volodymyr Zelensky denouncing “energy terror”.
“Tonight alone, around 4.5 million consumers have been temporarily disconnected” in Kyiv and ten other regions across the country, Zelensky pointed out in his evening address.
The Russians “cannot defeat Ukraine on the battlefield, that’s why they are trying to break our people” by indulging in “energy terror”, he charged.
For its part, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that it had detected “no sign of undeclared nuclear activities” in three places inspected at the request of Kyiv.
These conclusions are “clear and irrefutable proof” of the absence of any preparation for the manufacture of a “dirty bomb” in Ukraine, accused by Moscow of manufacturing one, reacted Mr. Zelensky.
Ukraine has also “strongly” condemned the “forced mass displacements” by the Russian military of residents of the southern region of Kherson.
They also take place in the vicinity of Zaporizhia and in Crimea, also in the south, as well as in the east (provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk) and are accompanied by “looting by the occupiers”, denounced the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs foreign.
Grain exports from Ukrainian ports resumed on Thursday after Russia returned to the humanitarian corridor agreement.
At midday, “seven cargo ships carrying a total of 290,102 tons of grain and agricultural products” were transiting through the humanitarian corridor “under the Ukrainian Grain Initiative in the Black Sea”, the delegation of the Ukraine confirmed. at the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul, responsible for supervising its application.
Ukrainian food exports reached ten million tonnes on Thursday thanks to this international agreement, welcomed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, calling for the renewal of this Initiative which “reduces the risk of hunger” in the world.
Russia on Wednesday resumed its participation in this agreement, signed in July under the aegis of the United Nations and Turkey, on the export of cereals and other agricultural products, considering that it had received guarantees from Kyiv on the demilitarization of the corridor humanitarian action in the Black Sea.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, 426 boats have already followed this secure route since 1er august.
The United States, like the UN, welcomed the outcome, but stressed that the grain deal must now be extended beyond the scheduled November 19 deadline.
“Before deciding to continue, it will be necessary to carry out an assessment”, however warned the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov.
A senior United Nations official involved in the negotiations, Rebeca Grynspan, meanwhile said she “hopes” that the agreement will be extended.
Especially since the negotiations on another thorny subject, the unblocking of Russian fertilizer exports, have made, according to her, “important steps forward”, even if “there is still a long way to go”.
A step forward on this plan could no doubt make things easier.
Moscow had suspended its participation in the grain agreement on Saturday after an attack carried out with marine drones against its fleet based in the harbor of Sevastopol, in annexed Crimea.
The Russian army has accused Ukraine of having carried out this operation, in which at least one Russian military building was hit, with the help of “British experts” and using the maritime corridor reserved for grain exports.
Russia also summoned the British ambassador to Moscow on Thursday to tell her that “such hostile actions by the United Kingdom risk leading to an escalation of the situation which could have unforeseeable and dangerous consequences”, while London denies any involvement.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has for his part described as “unacceptable” the supply of drones and the possible supply of ballistic missiles by Iran to Russia for its war against Ukraine.
Ukrainians and Westerners accuse Tehran of already delivering combat drones to Moscow, which these two capitals deny.
The G7 countries, meeting in Münster, Germany, meanwhile denounced Russia’s “treacherous methods” in its way of waging war by trying to “starve, thirst or freeze people by attacking civil infrastructure.
Faced with the intensification of Russian strikes on civilian equipment, the seven industrialized countries of this group will coordinate their aid to deliver “water pumps, heaters, living and sanitary containers, beds, blankets, tents”, a announced German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.