White House accuses Russia of tempting a nuclear accident with new attacks on Ukraine’s power grid

The White House on Wednesday condemned Russia’s latest barrage of attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and warned that the Kremlin appears “willing to increase the risk of a nuclear safety incident” as it continues to pummel the country’s power grid.

Multiple regions throughout Ukraine have gone dark following Russia’s latest onslaught, forcing Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator Energoatom to disconnect the country’s three fully functioning nuclear power plants from the power grid as part of an “emergency protection measure.”

Officials in Kyiv reported that three people were killed and nine wounded after a two-story building was hit in the capital city. Another four people were killed and 34 wounded in the surrounding region.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said the Kremlin is turning to “increasingly horrific attacks” as it struggles on the battlefield.

“These strikes do not appear aimed at any military purpose and instead further the goal of the Putin regime to increase the suffering and death of Ukrainian men, women and children,” she said. “It also shows Russia is willing to increase the risk of a nuclear safety incident that could not only further harm Ukraine, but affect the entire region as well.”

The U.S. announced earlier Wednesday that it is sending an additional $400 million aid package, including ammunition and generators, to Ukraine as the country stares down the prospect of a cold winter adding to the misery of war.

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“We are in constant touch with Ukraine on its energy infrastructure needs and are working with allies and partners to support Ukraine,” Ms. Watson said. “Russia continues to underestimate the strength and resolve of the Ukrainian people and its attempt to demoralize them will fail yet again.”

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