Zelenskiy of Ukraine cautions Europeans to prepare for a gloomy winter.



Corrects official's name in paragraph 15

Thomas Balmforth

Reuters: KYIV

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, has warned Europeans to prepare for a challenging winter as a result of Russia's invasion of his nation, which has caused Moscow to reduce its oil and gas exports.


After Moscow shut down a major pipeline that transports Russian gas to the continent, Zelenskiy was speaking on Saturday night.

In his daily video speech, he declared that "Russia is preparing a decisive energy blow on the Europeans for this winter."

Moscow has blamed the energy outages on technical difficulties as well as Western sanctions imposed as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. European nations that have provided diplomatic and military backing to the Kyiv administration have accused Russia of turning energy supplies into weapons.

According to some observers, as governments work to appease irate citizens, the shortages and an increase in living expenses as winter draws near risk eroding Western support for Kyiv.


Moscow said this week that it would maintain the Nord Stream 1 pipeline's closure, which is its primary gas pipeline to Germany, and the G7 nations established a planned price ceiling on Russian oil exports.

The Kremlin declared that it would halt oil sales to any nations that adopted the cap.

Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, stated on Sunday that his government had planned for a complete halt in gas delivery in December but he vowed that his nation would survive the winter.

At a news conference in Berlin, Scholz declared that "Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner."

Downed power lines in Zaporizhia
 

U.N. inspectors reported on Saturday that the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine once more experienced a power outage.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that the final main external power line was turned off, but a reserve line continued to feed electricity into the grid.

It claimed that only one of its six reactors was still operational.

On February 24, immediately after sending his army across the border, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to capture the factory, which has since come to symbolize the conflict.

The bombardment in the area that sparked worries that a nuclear catastrophe would be set off has been attributed to each side by the other.

The situation around the plant has been calm so far on Sunday, according to a representative of the Russian-installed administration in Zaporizhzhia.

The official, Vladimir Rogov, claimed there had been no shelling or invasions when speaking to Komsomolskaya Pravda radio. In the last two days, Russia has twice accused Ukraine of attempting to seize the facility. According to Ukraine, Russia assaulted the region directly.

According to Rogov, IAEA personnel are anticipated to be on site until at least Monday.

Last week, an IAEA mission visited the plant, which is still run by Ukrainian employees. Some experts have remained there in anticipation of the publication of an IAEA report.

In a statement released on Saturday, the plant claimed that the fifth reactor was shut down due to continuous shelling by Russian occupation forces and that insufficient capacity from the last reserve line was present to operate two reactors.

Zelenskiy has attributed a cutoff on August 25 when the first Zaporizhzhia was disconnected from the national grid to Russian shelling, narrowly preventing a radiation release. Ukraine had power outages due to that closure.

Russia is charged by Ukraine and the West with placing heavy weaponry at the location to deter Ukraine from shooting on it. Russia has rejected efforts from other countries to withdraw troops and demilitarize the region, despite the fact that it denies possessing any such weapons there.

Ukrainian Telegram channels reported explosions at the Antonivsky bridge, which is close to the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, on other fronts.

Russian troops attempted to rebuild the bridge or set up a pontoon crossing or barges to maintain supplies to Russian positions on the right bank of the Dnipro river despite the bridge having sustained significant damage from Ukrainian missiles over the preceding few weeks.

Last week, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against the south, focusing on the Kherson region, which was captured by Russia early on in the conflict.

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