Footage on social media Thursday showed Russian President Vladimir Putin sipping champagne as he justified attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure which has left millions without power during a cold winter.
“Right now, there has been a lot of uproar about our attacks on the energy infrastructure of the neighboring country,” he said. “Yes, we’re doing it.”
What he said
During a champagne reception, Putin raised a toast to high-ranking Kremlin officials receiving awards, and admitted Russia is intentionally sabotaging Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
He blamed Ukraine for the provocation, saying: “But who started it? Who hit the Crimean Bridge? Who blew up the Lursk nuclear power plant?”
Putin said that Russia would not be deterred by the global outrage over the continued attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.
“As soon as we move and do something in response, they scream and shout,” he said. “This will not interfere with our combat missions.”
Experts say Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy supplies leave the country incredibly vulnerable this winter. The World Health Organization’s European director told CNBC that freezing temperatures with no heat will be ”life-threatening” for millions of Ukrainians for the next few months.