Russian strikes hit Kyiv infrastructure

1. Ukraine
Rescuers clear debris of the destroyed two-story maternity building in the town of Vilnyansk, Ukraine, on November 23, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
KYIV Russian strikes targeted energy infrastructure in the capital Kyiv on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks that has caused nationwide blackouts. اضافة اعلان

The European Parliament meanwhile recognized Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” over its nine-month invasion of Ukraine and urged the 27-nation EU to follow suit.

Ukrainian emergency services said the Russian rockets smashed into a hospital in Vilniansk, a town in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, that houses Europe’s largest nuclear power plant under Russian control.

President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the strikes as Russian “terror and murder”.

“The two-story building of the maternity ward was destroyed,” the emergency services said in a statement, adding that there was a woman, baby and doctor in the building at the time of the attack.

“The baby ... died. The woman and doctor were rescued from the rubble,” they added. Nobody else was trapped under the debris.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that recent systematic attacks on the energy grid are causing severe disruptions at Ukrainian hospitals.

Russian strikes were also targeting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Wednesday, with the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko saying important infrastructure had been hit.

The western city of Lviv was also left without power after being targeted by strikes, the mayor said.

The WHO said this week it had recorded more than 700 attacks on Ukraine’s health facilities since Russia’s invasion began.

“Continued attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational,” Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the UN’s health body, told reporters.

Russia has systematically targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, causing severe damage ahead of winter, which Kluge said “is already having knock-out effects on the health system and on the people’s health”.

‘Terrorist state’
The move by the European legislators to recognize Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” is a symbolic political step with no legal consequences.

Kyiv has for months called on the international community to declare Russia a “terrorist state,” and the Strasbourg parliament’s decision will likely anger Moscow.

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror,” a resolution approved by EU lawmakers said.

Ukraine praised the decision.

“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,” Zelensky said.

Separately, Ukraine’s
security service announced that it had seized “pro-Russian literature” and cash and interrogated dozens during raids of several Orthodox monasteries that spurred a backlash from the Kremlin.

The raided locations included the 11th century Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kyiv, a UNESCO Heritage site.

The SBU said it had probed 850 people including Russian and Ukrainian citizens and that “more than 50 underwent in-depth counterintelligence interviews”.

“Some of them presented passports and Soviet-era military IDs or did not have original documents at all, but only copies of them, or had Ukrainian passports with indications of forgery or damage,” the SBU said.

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