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Ukraine says Russian ‘energy terror’ has begun ahead of winter

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Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said Friday that Russia has restarted a systemic campaign of aerial attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure but that air defenses were better prepared for the onslaught than last year.

During winter last year Russian forces launched repeated attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid that left millions without electricity, heating and water for extended periods.

“We understand that the stage of energy terror in this heating season has already begun,” Shmygal said at an economic forum in Kyiv, one day after Moscow’s forces fired more than 40 cruise missiles at Ukraine.

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“We see it in the first attacks on regional power substations in the last two weeks,” he said, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, also citing attacks on fuel production and storage facilities.

The barrage last winter from Russian forces spurred Ukraine to bolster its air defense with support from its military allies in the West.

“We are much better prepared and stronger than we were last year. For sure, winter will be difficult,” Shmygal said.

“But we are better prepared for it, because we understand what the enemy is preparing for and what threats and challenges we all face,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Washington this week to hold talks on securing more US weapons, saying “air defense” was among Kyiv’s priorities.

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