A bipartisan group of 16 US senators has called on the Biden administration to carefully reconsider Ukraine’s request for deadly Gray Eagle drones to fight Russia.
The Biden administration has so far released the Gray Eagle, which has an operational limit of 8,800 meters (29,000 feet) and can fly for more than 24 hours, based on concerns that the drone could be shot down and things could escalate. Denying the drone’s request. Conflict.
As Russia increasingly turns to so-called kamikaze drones to attack civilian infrastructure, Ukraine has urged the United States to supply powerful drones to help it gain an edge in the conflict.
In their letter, senators gave Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin by Nov. 30 to explain why the Pentagon considered drones unsuitable for combat in Ukraine.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian-resident Crimean governor-general Mikhail Razvodjayev announced that he had shot down two drones in the city of Sevastopol, where Russian air defense systems had been activated.
“Our air defense forces are working now,” he said on social media. “There is an attack by drones. According to preliminary information, two UAVs [uncrewed aerial vehicles] has already been shot down. All units and services are on high alert. “
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday accused Russia of using winter temperatures as a “weapon of mass destruction” by attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and called for more help.
“The Kremlin wants to turn this winter cold into a weapon of mass destruction,” Ukrainian president said in a video message at a meeting with French mayors.
Zelensky asked the French Association of Mayors to send generators, assistance in demining operations, and equipment for Ukrainian emergency services and medics to help get through the war-torn Ukraine’s winter.
Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was damaged by the Russian attack, leaving millions without electricity and water as winter set in and temperatures dropped below freezing.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmykhal announced emergency shutdowns in addition to those currently planned across the country due to increased electricity consumption during the cold season.
Sergey Kovalenko, head of YASNO private energy provider in Kyiv, said workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives, but Ukrainians can live without power until at least the end of March. He said he was of high quality.
The damage to Ukrainian power plants from the Russian missile strike was “extreme”, said the head of Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator.
Uklenergo CEO Volodymyr Kudritsky said in a briefing that despite the damage, his company hopes to continue to provide the necessary conditions for Ukrainians to stay in the country over the winter. said.
The United States continues its efforts to accelerate aid to Ukraine and has urged other donors to do the same, announcing payments of $4.5 billion in economic assistance to begin deployment in the coming weeks. .
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the funds were intended to “enhance economic stability and support core government services.”
Ukraine also received a new €2.5 billion ($2.58 billion) macrofinancial assistance (MFA) from the European Union today, bringing the total amount of MFA provided to Ukraine since February 24 to €6.7 billion ($6.9 billion). ) became.
Chancellor Denis Schmichal wrote: twitter He thanked EU leaders for the support, which he said was “another step in solidarity”.
To continue its support for Ukraine, Canada said Tuesday it would impose further sanctions on the administration of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Ottawa said it would sanction a further 22 Belarusian officials and 16 Belarusian companies involved in military manufacturing, technology, engineering, banking and rail transport.
It said the officials included some “who were complicit in the stationing and transportation of Russian military personnel and equipment involved in the invasion of Ukraine.”