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PM Shmyhal: Russia trying to overwhelm Europe with new refugee wave

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 12, 2022 7:35 PM 1 min read
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By attacking Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Russia is trying to "flood" the European Union with a new refugee wave, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Dec. 12.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of late November, over 4,751,065 refugees from Ukraine have registered for temporary protection status or equivalent.

Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic are in the lead. In total, around 7.8 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe.

Shmyhal noted that Russian missile and artillery strikes on critical infrastructure facilities led to electricity and water supply outages that affected millions of Ukrainians amid freezing weather.

He called on Western allies to provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems, among other air defenses, to counter Russia's attacks.

The previous day, Shmyhal warned of "significant" energy cuts this winter after Russia's missile blitz damaged "all thermal and hydroelectric power plants" across the country.

Since Oct. 10, Moscow has unleashed six mass strikes targeting Ukraine's energy sector, killing dozens of civilians and causing emergency blackouts.

Russia has fired over a thousand missiles and loitering munitions at energy infrastructure nationwide over the last two months, Head of Ukraine's state grid operator Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytsky said on Dec. 9.

The most recent nationwide attack on Ukraine occurred on Dec. 5, killing four and hitting energy sites in at least three regions.

On Dec. 4, Miguel Berger, Germany's Ambassador to the U.K., said the country expects a new wave of Ukrainian refugees in the coming weeks.

Earlier, Reuters reported that Eastern European countries are getting ready to reopen reception centers and are restocking food supplies in anticipation of a possible new Ukrainian refugee wave.

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