Ukraine Demands More Weapons to Protect Critical Infrastructure

After the repeated Russian shelling of the area around the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia and the targeting of Kharkiv’s electricity infrastructure on Sept. 11, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian President’s Office, called for an overall increase in weapons deliveries, stressing that Kyiv needs more air defense to protect critical infrastructure from Russia.

Ukrainian intelligence warned that Moscow is preparing to renew its attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as part of its efforts to target Ukraine’s infrastructure, specifically Ukraine’s energy system.

According to Ukraine’s energy minister, Herman Halushchenko, Russian troops carried out on Sunday some of the most massive shelling of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since the beginning of the war, leaving without electricity large parts of eastern Ukraine, including the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.

During Tuesday’s meeting with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, Halushchenko called these attacks Russian revenge on the Ukrainian civilian population after the success of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield.

Brink and Halushchenko discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) following the IAEA inspection two weeks ago, reiterating afterward that the only way to ensure nuclear safety was to return the plant to Ukrainian control.

Meanwhile, Petro Kotin, the president of Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom which operates with ZNPP, informed that the plant had switched to a so-called “island mode”- during which it supplies electricity solely for itself- while work continues to restore all seven lines power lines that were damaged.

Previously on Monday, the head of Russia’s Security Council Nikolay Patrushev accused the US of involvement in Ukrainian strikes on ZNPP by supplying Kyiv with crucial intelligence to designate targets for shelling around the plant, adding that those attacks are carried out using NATO-supplied weapons.