Ukraine resorts to emergency power cuts after Russian attacks on energy grid

by Admin
Ukraine resorts to emergency power cuts after Russian attacks on energy grid

Emergency power shutdowns were implemented across Ukraine Sunday, a day after Russia pummeled the country’s energy infrastructure with 100 drones and missiles and claimed it made territorial gains in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

At least 19 people were injured in Saturday’s massive attacks. Without adequate air defenses to counter incessant Russian assaults and to allow for repairs on Ukraine’s energy system in recent weeks, Kyiv has had to enforce nationwide rolling blackouts to compensate for energy shortages during the hot days of summer and the bitter-cold winter.

Russia claimed Sunday that it had taken control of the village of Umanske in the partially Russian-occupied Donetsk region while also making incursions in Ukraine’s northern Sumy and Chernihiv areas.

In Russia, at least six people were injured from Ukrainian shelling in the city of Shebekino in the Belgorod region that borders Ukraine, regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said Sunday. Gladkov also said that a local official, the deputy head of the Korochansky district, had been killed by “detonation of ammunition.”

In the neighboring Kursk region, three people were injured Sunday when an explosive device was dropped from a drone, according to acting regional head Alexey Smirnov.

China spurns Ukraine peace summit

China said Friday it would be “’hard to meet” calls for discussions on the Russia-Ukraine war, citing problems with arrangements that seem to indicate Beijing’s strongly pro-Moscow stance.

“There is still a clear gap between the arrangements for the meeting and the demands of the Chinese side, as well as the general expectations of the international community,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, without providing further details.

Mao said China has “informed parties concerned about our considerations and concerns and would keep in touch with all parties concerned.” China claims neutrality in the conflict but has strongly backed Russia and recently hosted President Vladimir Putin on a state visit.

In an interview with China’s official Xinhua News Agency released Wednesday, Putin hailed his ties with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, saying, “President Xi maintains a respectful, friendly, open and at the same time business-like style of communication.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused China Sunday of helping Russia to disrupt a Swiss-organized peace conference taking place later this month on the war in Ukraine.

Speaking at Asia’s premier security conference, Zelenskyy said that China is pressuring other countries and their leaders not to attend the talks, set for June 15-16, but he did not specify which ones.

“Russia, using Chinese influence in the region, using Chinese diplomats also, does everything to disrupt the peace summit,” he said at a news conference at the Shangri-La defense forum. “Regrettably, this is unfortunate that such a big independent powerful country as China is an instrument in the hands of Putin.”

Despite its proclaimed neutrality, China’s trade with Russia has grown, allowing Moscow to weather Western economic sanctions.

Ukrainian, U.S. and other intelligence agencies also say there is evidence that Chinese parts are winding up in Russian weaponry, even if China is not directly arming its neighbor.

Switzerland was hoping China would attend the peace summit in mid-June, but the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson indicated Friday that that was unlikely.

China has been calling for a peace conference with equal participation of all sides, including Russia, which has not been invited. Russia also has called Zelenskyy’s peace plan outlining the Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territories a non-starter.

Zelenskyy was to visit Manila late Sunday, Rappler news site reported, quoting diplomatic sources.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Philippine president’s office or the Philippine foreign ministry.

Zelenskyy would be coming from Singapore, where he made a surprise appearance at the Shangri-La Dialogue. This is his second visit to Asia since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.


Separately, NATO’s decision to strengthen Europe’s northern and eastern flank is aimed at securing its borders from Russian expansionism, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday, adding that it should be clear to Moscow that the alliance will be ready to defend itself if necessary.

Speaking at the Eastern German Economic Forum that Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte also attended, Scholz said Germany has played a leading role in NATO’s presence in the Baltics on Russia’s border, stretching back nearly a decade.

“And because the threat from Russia will continue, we and other allies decided last year to deploy additional units to the Baltic states and to station an entire brigade there permanently in future,” Scholz said, according to a speech manuscript.

“But this turnaround in security policy is necessary to show Russia: We are prepared to defend every square inch of NATO territory against attacks.”

Putin warned NATO members recently against allowing Ukraine to use Western made weapons on Russian territory, after several Western allies lifted restrictions imposed on the use of arms they supplied to Kyiv.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Friday dismissed Russian threats, saying the alliance had heard them many times before and self-defense was not escalation.

Some material came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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