The European Parliament declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” on Wednesday November 23, accusing its forces of carrying out atrocities in Ukraine.
The move by the European legislators is a symbolic political step with no legal consequences, but MEPs urged the governments of the 27-nation EU to follow their lead.
“The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror,” a resolution approved by EU lawmakers said.
The symbolic move came as Russian military strikes targeted energy infrastructure in Kyiv and other regions of western Ukraine, leaving millions without electricity and causing widespread power cuts in neighbouring Moldova.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian missiles hit a maternity ward in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, killing a newborn baby.
Power units at three Ukrainian nuclear power plants have been switched off after the latest Russian missile strikes, says the country’s nuclear energy firm Energoatom.
Energoatom said in a statement that, “due to a decrease in frequency in the energy system of Ukraine”, emergency protection was activated at the Rivne, Pivdennoukrainsk and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plants.
“Currently, they (power units) work in project mode, without generation into the domestic energy system,” Energoatom said.
The Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have caused blackouts across half of neighbouring Moldova, says the country’s deputy prime minister.
“Massive blackout in Moldova after today’s Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” Andrei Spinu, who also serves as infrastructure minister, said on Twitter.
“Moldelectrica, TSO (transmission system operator), is working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity.”
Power outages were also reported in the breakaway Russian-backed region of Transnistria, the local interior ministry said in a statement.