As the Kremlin’s forces continue to be driven back, it has continued to strike back with missile attacks.
On Sunday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that it could be a challenging week ahead.
“Our defense forces are preparing. Our whole country is preparing,” Zelensky said in his nightly address, and he further praised repair personnel working overtime across the country. “All scenarios are being assessed.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Ukrainian and Western officials have warned of a possible humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine as winter sets in.
Vast swaths of the country, including its largest cities, have regularly suffered from protracted power and water outages that have disabled the heating system as temperatures begin to plummet.
Zelensky was candid that the worst could be yet to come, and said Moscow was likely set to launch another wave of missile and drone attacks against civilian targets and critical infrastructure.
“We understand that the terrorists are preparing new attacks,” Zelensky added. “We know this for sure. And while they have rockets, they will unfortunately not calm down.”
This is not the first time that Zelensky has branded Russia as a terrorist state. The Ukrainian leader has described Moscow as such for its attacks that have killed civilians across the country, and which have damaged thousands of residential buildings.
The European Parliament has even called upon the European Union to further isolate Russia internationally, including when it comes to Russia’s membership of international organizations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council.
However, the move is largely symbolic, as the European Union does not have a legal framework in place to back it up.
Russia: Terrorist State Attacking Ukraine?
Moscow has denied that it has targeted civilians and has denounced the designation, and some Russian officials have taken an even harder stance.
“I propose designating the European Parliament as a sponsor of idiocy,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova recently wrote on the social media platform Telegram.
Zelensky has repeatedly urged the United States and other countries to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, yet, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has so far refused to list Russia despite resolutions in both chambers of Congress urging him to do so.
The U.S. State Department currently names four countries – Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria – as state sponsors of terrorism, meaning they are subject to a defense export ban and financial restrictions.
Fighting the Cold
Following last week’s missile strikes, Ukrainian officials had said that as much as 50 percent of the country’s electricity needs were not being met. The Ukrenergo power operator said the priority was to fix key infrastructure but repairs were now taking more time, the BBC reported.
Across Ukraine, winter is setting in, as snow has fallen and some regions are now in deep cold.
In Kyiv, authorities announced they have opened more than 430 stations where people can warm up and charge devices, and plan to open 100 more.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in an interview with Ukrainian media published Monday that power outages would likely continue until the spring, and an evacuation of some residents from the city may be necessary if the situation worsens.
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.