Putin promises to continue destroying Ukraine's energy infrastructure | War in Ukraine

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Putin promises to continue destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure | War in Ukraine

Posad-Pokrovske village resident Oksana Oliinyk holds bread while walking near destroyed buildings as Russian attacks continue in the Kherson region.

Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to continue strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, a response, according to him, to attacks by kyiv, particularly in Crimea, an annexed peninsula whose vulnerability Moscow has admitted.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian forces of intensively mining and trapping the territories they abandon during their withdrawals, and assured that mine terrorism will be among the charges against Russia.< /p>

Terrorists deliberately try to leave behind as many deadly traps as possible, he said in his daily address on the Internet. Buried landmines, tripwires, mined buildings, cars and infrastructure… This is more than 170,000 square kilometers of dangerous territory, Mr. Zelensky estimated.

Presenting medals to soldiers and other figures Thursday in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin for his part brushed aside Western criticism of Russian strikes which in recent weeks have left millions of Ukrainians without power or even water. and without heating, in the middle of winter temperatures.

Yes, we do, but who started it?, launched Mr. Putin who presents these bombardments as a response to the war. explosion that damaged the Russian-built Crimean Bridge in early October and other attacks blamed on kyiv.

He also blamed kyiv for blowing up power lines at the nuclear power plant in Kursk, a Russian region bordering Ukraine, and failing to supply water to the pro-Russian separatist stronghold of Donetsk in the Russian capital. #x27;east of the country.

From our side, as soon as we start doing something in response, the noise, the clamor, the crackle spreads throughout the universe, Putin quipped. This will not hinder us from fulfilling our combat missions, he said.

Approaching the he winter, millions of Ukrainians have been without power since Russia began targeting infrastructure eight weeks ago. Our special correspondent in Boutcha, Marie-Eve B├ędard.

Earlier Thursday, the Kremlin admitted to being vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks in Crimea, a peninsula annexed in 2014, after several attacks attributed to Ukraine far from the front.

Thursday, a drone was shot down by the Russian fleet in Sevastopol in Crimea, local authorities said, a sign of the risks that continue to hang over the annexed peninsula that kyiv has vowed to retake.

These attacks, combined with a series of Russian reverses in Ukraine, seem to testify to the fact that, nine months after the start of the offensive, Russia is struggling to not only consolidate its positions, but also to protect its rear bases.< /p>

Russia's Black Sea Fleet, based in the port of Sevastopol, was hit in late October by what authorities said was a massive drone attack, which damaged at least one ship.

And in early October, the bridge connecting the peninsula to Russia was partially destroyed by an explosion that Moscow attributed to Ukrainian forces.

With front lines in danger of freezing with in winter, the Ukrainians increasingly turn to drones to strike Russian bases in the rear, away from the front, while the Russians bomb Ukraine's energy infrastructure, even plunging civilians into the cold.

According to the Ukrainian operator Ukrenergo, the electricity system was still the victim of a significant deficit on Thursday after the last Russian strikes on Monday.

A sign of tensions in Crimea, the Russian security services (FSB) announced on Thursday the arrest of two residents of Sevastopol suspected of having passed information on military targets to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army has moved closer to Crimea in recent weeks thanks to a victorious counter-offensive which enabled it to retake the strategic city of Kherson, in the south of the country, on November 11.

In this area, where the bulk of the two sides' forces are separated by the Dnieper River, the situation remains tense, with regular Russian strikes on Kherson.

Oleksiï Kovbassiouk, a local resident met by AFP, crosses the river despite the risks and the freezing temperatures to help the inhabitants trapped on the left bank, occupied by the Russians, to escape.

I have already had two bullet holes in my boat, he says.

On the sidelines of the Ukrainian file, Moscow and Washington conducted a major prisoner swap at Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

Russia has recovered the arms dealer Viktor Bout , detained for more than 10 years in the United States, while American basketball player Brittney Griner, imprisoned for several months in Russia for cannabis trafficking, returns to the United States.

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