Belarusian President and Putin puppet Aleksandr Lukashenko has blamed Ukraine for the Russian destruction of its energy infrastructures and civilian cities, warning that “complete destruction” is inevitable if they do not surrender. The long-standing dictator suggested Ukraine were blocking peace talks by continuing to fight against an ailing Russian military in the south and east, and said he would “explain to the Ukrainian people” what had happened after they surrendered. His comments were made as millions of Ukrainian citizens were plunged into darkness, forced out of their homes and deprived of a water supply due to Russian missile strikes hundreds of miles behind the front lines.
Lukashenko said: “Everything is in Ukraine’s hands. No, not because I want to shove this topic on Ukraine and Zelensky.
“Truly, everything is in Ukraine’s hands, if they don’t want the death of a huge number of people. It will be difficult, complex, challenging, but if they want to recover, this needs to stop because next will be the complete destruction of Ukraine.
“It is not what Putin was saying, long before the operation, that this will risk losing the state, the statehood of Ukraine. No, this will be the destruction of Ukraine. It needs to stop.
“Listen, the way we fought with fascist Germany, 30 million people died. Who remembers this today? In Belarus and in a bit of Russia, that is it.
“So, the wounds have healed. Now they are ready not just to talk, but to cooperate, to be friends. Same here. We’ll manage it, we’ll make amends.
“We, our generation, probably will be able to explain to the Ukrainian people what has happened.
“Thus, whichever way you go, there will be peace negotiations. Peace, peace and peace again.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday echoed Lukashenko’s sentiment of blaming Ukraine for Russia’s invasion and the civilian hardship suffered.
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He said: “Ukraine’s leadership has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, has every opportunity to resolve the situation in such a way as to meet the demands of the Russian side and, accordingly, end all possible suffering of the civilian population.”
As the pair attempted to exculpate Putin of his barbarism, residents of Ukraine’s bombed capital clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth on Thursday The latest round of Russian missile strikes a day earlier had plunged the city and much of the country into the dark.
In scenes hard to believe in a sophisticated city of 3 million, some Kyiv residents resorted to collecting rainwater from drain pipes as repair teams laboured to reconnect supplies.
Friends and family members exchanged messages to find out who had electricity and water back. Some had one but not the other. The previous day’s aerial onslaught on Ukraine’s power grid left many with neither.
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And as Kyiv and other cities picked themselves up, Kherson on Thursday came under its heaviest bombardment since Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city two weeks ago.
The barrage of missiles killed four people outside a coffee shop and a woman was also killed next to her house, witnesses said, speaking to Associated Press reporters.
Western leaders denounced the bombing campaign with French President Emmanuel Macron calling the strikes “war crimes”.
Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov acknowledged that it targeted Ukrainian energy facilities but he said they were linked to Ukraine’s military command and control system and that the aim was to disrupt flows of Ukrainian troops, weapons and ammunition to front lines.
Authorities for Kyiv and the wider Kyiv region reported a total of 7 people killed and dozens of wounded.