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Ukraine: UN Political Chief Briefs the Security Council

By: George Baumgarten

With the war in Ukraine now nearly one year old, the U.N.’s Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo of the U.S.A. presented an assessment to the international organization.

She first told of the latest wave of missile and drone strikes against civilians—literally from one end of the country to the other. In addition to efforts to escape these missiles, those innocent civilians had to contend with the freezing cold, which is routine in this region of southeast Europe. She cited figures showing some 23 dead on the day of her report, 23 November... This also caused several regions to be completely without electricity.

All those in the Kyiv region were without electricity, and some three million were without running water as well. Odesa was also said to be without either electricity or running water. Three nuclear power plants were said to be operating but were disconnected from the nation’s national energy grid.

Neighboring Moldova was also said to be affected and was suffering blackouts as well.

And the weather forecast for the coming days speaks of a “Life-Threatening Winter” to come. This may be standard climactic conditions in southeast Europe, but it bodes ill for those who have to endure it first-hand, often in damaged buildings or unbearable, freezing cold.

The Under-Secretary-General was particularly worried about the situation sat the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant and called the shelling in the vicinity of that plant “reckless and deplorable”. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, has confirmed that “key equipment remained intact”. This despite that fact that the plant has now lost external electrical access and is now dependent on its own generators.

In contrast to the above, however, Di Carlo was able to report a recent prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia. And this as the temperature in Kyiv is -1 Celsius, with snow predicted. But “we must all work together”, she said, “to prevent a man-made humanitarian catastrophe”.

George Baumgarten is a UN Correspondent and contributor to Jewish Newspapers in North America © Copyright 2023 George Alan Baumgarten


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