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White House on Ukraine energy grid attack: Putin’s effort to ‘plunge them into darkness’

The White House on Friday called Moscow’s latest attack on Ukraine’s energy grid an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to “plunge” the country “into darkness.” 

“Overnight, Russia launched one of its largest aerial assaults against Ukraine’s energy grid since the war began—depriving many people across the country of heat, water, and electricity in the still cold days of early spring,” said National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson in a statement. 

“This bombardment—part of a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure— is a terrible reminder of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people and plunge them into darkness,” Watson said. 

Russia launched 99 drones and missiles at energy infrastructure in regions across Ukraine on Friday, according to reporting from the Associated Press, part of an escalation of attacks over the last several days. Ukenegro, the state grid operator, said on Telegram, per translations, that the attacks targeted thermal and hydroelectric plants and have caused emergency shutdowns in multiple regions.

Throughout the war, which crossed into its third year last month, Russia has used attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure to try and kneecap the country’s defenses, particularly amid bitter winter conditions.

Watson in her statement re-upped calls for the House to pass the bipartisan national security supplemental bill so the U.S. can equip Ukraine with more air defenses. 

“Ukraine’s need is urgent, and we cannot afford any further delays,” she said. The White House has been sounding alarms that the situation in Ukraine is dire.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a post on X that the country is “working hard not only to counter Russian influence, but also to persuade partners to increase their supply of air defense systems and missiles.” Earlier this week, the Kyiv leader made a plea for aid to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

“We are well aware of what Russia is preparing for. They are war-sick and will not stop themselves,” Zelensky said.

Source: The Hill

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