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Ukraine: Zelenskyy urges UN to act as cities plunge into darkness

'Today is just one day but we have received 70 missiles'

Russia Ukraine War Ukrainians board the Kherson-Kyiv train at the Kherson railway station, southern Ukraine, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 | AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on Wednesday, appealed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take action over Russian airstrikes targeting vital infrastructure. This has led Ukrainian cities to face blackouts as harsh winter sets in.

"Today is just one day but we have received 70 missiles. That's the Russian formula of terror," Zelenskyy said via video link to the Council chamber in New York. “This is all against our energy infrastructure. … Hospitals, schools, transport, residential districts all suffered,” he added.

The barrage of missiles killed 10 people and forced the shutdown of nuclear power plants and cut water and electricity supply in many places. 

Zelenskyy said, Ukraine is waiting to see "a very firm reaction" to Wednesday's airstrikes from the world, DW reported. Lviv, a city in western Ukraine lost both power and water-- trams and trolleybuses stopped running. The capital city of Kyiv lost water, meanwhile, public transport in Kharkiv faced a power outage and public transport stopped. 

Referring to Russia’s likely veto, Zelenskyy said, “it’s nonsense that the veto right is secured for the party that wages this war, this criminal war.” “We cannot be hostage to one international terrorist,” he said, saying the council must act.

Russia's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said it was against council rules for Zelenskyy to appear via video, and rejected what he called "reckless threats and ultimatums" by Ukraine and its supporters in the West.  

The Pope, in the meanwhile, linked the suffering of Ukrainians now to the 1930s genocide artificially caused by Stalin," when the Soviet leader was blamed for creating a man-made famine in the country believed to have killed more than 3 million people.

Francis' linking of the plight of Ukrainian civilians today to those killed by starvation 90 years ago, and his willingness to call it a genocide and squarely blame Josef Stalin, marked a sharp escalation in papal rhetoric against Russia.

As of this year, only 17 countries have officially recognised the famine, known as the Holodomor, according to the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv. 

--With PTI inputs

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