Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that Russia is targeting critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine to reduce the country’s military capacity — rebuffing accusations that Moscow is committing war crimes by trying to leave people without power or heat during winter, The Washington Post report.
Shoigu’s boast about the success of Russia’s airstrikes came a day after Russia launched a fresh barrage of cruise missile attacks that hit at least 10 regions across Ukraine, damaging energy and infrastructure facilities and leaving many residents of Kyiv, the capital, temporarily without domestic water service.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of trying to terrorize the civilian population by repeatedly hitting energy infrastructure, raising the prospect of a lack of power and heat during an ever nearing, bitterwinter. Western officials have repeatedly condemned Russia’s attacks.
Attacking civilian targets with no military purpose is potentially a war crime, but it can be difficult to prove that energy infrastructure does not also help support soldiers on the front lines.