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Ukraine's Zelensky: Russia won't stop strikes on our infrastructure until it runs out of missiles

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (file photo)

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has predicted more Russian attacks on his country's infrastructure, saying the attacks will only stop when Moscow runs out of missiles.

Delivering a nightly address, Zelensky said Russians "are planning new strikes. We know this for a fact.... And as long as they have missiles, they, unfortunately, will not calm down."

The Ukrainian president added that he expected Russia to keep up the operations it has been waging for weeks against Ukraine's electricity production facilities and other infrastructural buildings.

Earlier this week, Zelensky alleged that six million people had been hit by power cuts across the country, identifying some of the affected regions as Odessa, Lviv, and Dnipro.

Ukraine claims the attacks are intended to harm civilians. Russia denies harboring any intentions to hurt civilians, rather condemning Kiev for refusing to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Russia started what it called a special military operation in its eastern neighbor in late February. Moscow says it launched the operation in order to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev.

Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

Ever since the beginning of the war, Kiev's allies, led by the United States and its European allies, have been pumping Ukraine full of advanced weapons, a step that Russia says would only prolong the hostilities.

Russia: No plans to quit Zaporizhzhia

Also on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov categorically rejected allegations that Russian forces could start quitting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, which is located in Ukraine's southeast.

Ukraine's nuclear chief on Sunday claimed there were signs Russian forces might be preparing to vacate Zaporizhzhia, which has six reactors.

"In recent weeks we are effectively receiving information that signs have appeared that they are possibly preparing to leave the (plant)," Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said on national television at the time.

On Monday, however, the Kremlin strongly dismissed the claim, saying the plant was and would remain under Russian control.

"There's no need to look for signs where there are none and cannot be any," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference, referring to claims Russia was leaving the plant.

The plant, seized by Russia in March, has repeatedly come under fire for weeks, raising concerns of a potential Chernobyl-style nuclear incident. Both Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of targeting the facility.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, wants to create a protection zone around Zaporizhzhia.


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