United Nations: Russian bombing of Ukrainian energy facilities increased humanitarian needs

Martin Griffiths

The United Nations has warned that the Russian bombing of Ukrainian energy facilities has caused a new level of humanitarian needs for the population, expressing concern about new displacements due to the lack of heating in areas where the temperature will soon drop to minus 20 degrees.

"Since October, the protracted attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure have led to a new level of needs affecting the entire country and exacerbating the needs arising from the war," said Martin Griffiths, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, during a session of the UN Security Council.

He added, "The extent of the destruction of the electricity and heating infrastructure requires enhanced support for the Ukrainian government, which exceeds what humanitarian workers can provide."

The UN official pointed out that in Ukraine today there are millions of people "deprived of heating, electricity or water in areas where temperatures may soon drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius. The ability of civilians to survive is threatened."

Recalling that the war in Ukraine has displaced 14 million people (6.5 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine and 7.8 million refugees in Europe), Griffiths warned of the danger of new displacements and asylums due to frost.

For his part, the French ambassador to the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivière, accused Russia of "now using winter as a weapon of war."

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