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Ukraine wants the US to send it the controversial cluster bombs

Putin makes rare public comments on Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure

Workers disassemble an auto-transformer that was completely destroyed after a missile hit the Ukrenergo high-voltage electrical substation on October 17, in central Ukraine.  (Ed Ram/Getty Images)

Workers disassemble an auto-transformer that was completely destroyed after a missile hit the Ukrenergo high-voltage electrical substation on October 17, in central Ukraine. (Photo: Ed Ram/Getty Images)

Rudia President Vladimir Putin made rare public comments specifically addressing attacks by the Russian Armed Forces on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

In his speech after a “Heroes of Russia” award ceremony in the Kremlin, he addressed a group of soldiers receiving the awards, a glass of champagne in hand.

“Yes, we are doing it. But who started it?” said the president, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

He listed a number of events for which he blames the Ukrainians: “Who attacked the Crimean bridge? Who blew up the power lines of the Kursk nuclear power plant?”

Some background: the reference to the bridge refers to an explosion that took place on the Kerch bridge – which connects Crimea with Russia – on October 8, when a truck that was crossing it exploded, causing its partial destruction. The Ukrainians have never claimed responsibility, but the Kremlin was quick to point the finger at Kyiv.

In the days after the bridge explosion, Putin said that “further acts of terrorism on the territory of Russia will be hard… have no doubt about it.” Last week, Putin appeared on the bridge while being shown some repairs, then drove a car across it.

The reference to Kursk appears to allude to Russia’s announcement that an airfield in the Kursk region, neighboring Ukraine, was the target of a drone strike. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has not offered any comment on the recent explosions, including the one in Kursk, which lie deep within Russia. Officially, the targets are out of the range of drones declared by the country.

At the award ceremony, Putin went on to list alleged attacks: “Who does not supply water to Donetsk? Not to supply water to a city of millions is an act of genocide.”

He ended his seemingly off-the-cuff comments by stating that the water situation has not been mentioned. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. Not at all. Absolute silence,” she said.

Russian local authorities in Donetsk – which Putin sought to annex in defiance of international law – have reported frequent shelling of the city this week.

The president sharply compared the difference in reactions between the attacks on Russia and the attacks on Ukraine.

“As soon as we make a move, do something in response: noise, clamor, crackle for the whole universe,” he said.
He ended by saying that “it will not interfere with our combat missions.”

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