Russia using cold as 'weapon of mass destruction': Zelensky

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 23 2022 07:09 AM

Communal workers repair a residential building damaged by shelling to prepare it for the coming winter in the North Saltivka district in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 22 November 2022 amid Russia's military invasion. Kharkiv and surrounding areas have been the target of heavy shelling since February 2022, when Russian troops entered Ukraine starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. At the beginning of September, the Ukrainian army pushed Russian forces from occupied territory northeast of the country in counterattacks. EPA-EFE/SERGEY KOZLOV
Communal workers repair a residential building damaged by shelling to prepare it for the coming winter in the North Saltivka district in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 22 November 2022 amid Russia's military invasion. Kharkiv and surrounding areas have been the target of heavy shelling since February 2022, when Russian troops entered Ukraine starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. At the beginning of September, the Ukrainian army pushed Russian forces from occupied territory northeast of the country in counterattacks. EPA-EFE/SERGEY KOZLOV

PARIS, France - Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Russia was trying to use the cold this winter as a "weapon of mass destruction" by striking energy infrastructure.

"The Kremlin wants to transform the cold this winter into a weapon of mass destruction," Zelensky told a meeting of French mayors in a video message. 

"To survive this winter and to prevent Russia transforming the cold into an instrument of terror and submission, we need a lot of things," he added.

He urged the Association of French Mayors to send generators, support for de-mining operations and equipment for Ukraine's emergency services and medics.

"I call on you to be very concrete with your help and to support out towns and communities against terrorism," he added.

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that millions of Ukrainian lives were at risk as the country's power grid struggles under a barrage of Russian attacks. 

Moscow has been deliberately targeting energy infrastructure, leaving millions of homes across the country without electricity as temperatures plunge.

"This winter will be about survival," WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, told reporters on Monday, adding it would be "life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine".

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© Agence France-Presse

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