Putin justifies strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure
8th December 2022

Champagne-swigging Putin says Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure will continue because ‘THEY started it by attacking Crimean bridge’

  • Russian president told media in Moscow he would continue to batter Ukraine 
  • He admitted to targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure but said it was justified
  • Millions of Ukrainian civilians are without power and heating amid winter freeze 

Vladimir Putin has sought to justify Russian mass missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by claiming the ‘Ukrainians started it’ by blowing up a Russian-held bridge to Crimea.

Speaking earlier today at a grandiose Kremlin reception to recognise several Russian servicemen as ‘Heroes of Russia’ for their efforts in Ukraine, the Russian president told reporters: ‘There is a lot of noise now about our strikes on the energy infrastructure [of Ukraine]. Yes, we are doing it. 

‘But who started it? Who struck the Crimean bridge?’ Putin quipped, clutching a glass of champagne as he shuffled awkwardly from side to side, looking unsteady on his feet.

Moscow’s relentless targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has left millions without power, heat and water as winter begins to bite and temperatures plummet below freezing. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts with servicemen awarded with Gold Star medals of Heroes of Russia during a ceremony on the eve of Heroes of the Fatherland Day, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 8, 2022

A Ukrainian attack in October severely damaged the Kerch bridge linking the Kremlin-held Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia – a key supply route for Moscow’s troops.

But the bridge assault came more than seven months after Putin and his military leaders on February 24 ordered Russian tanks to roll across the Ukrainian border.

Russia had conducted extensive bombing campaigns of administrative and civilian infrastructure and had all but flattened the once bustling Ukrainian port city of Mariupol long before the Kerch bridge was targeted.

Putin later vowed to achieve his goals in Ukraine as ‘a duty to our people’, irrespective of any ‘information wars’ or outrage in response to Moscow’s actions.

‘When we make a move there is an outburst of noise and chatter throughout the universe… This will not prevent us from fulfilling our military objectives,’ he concluded. 

The autocrat made the warped remarks at a glitzy military honours reception on the eve of Russia’s ‘Heroes of the Fatherland Day’ – an annual memorial day introduced in 2007 and held on December 9 to commemorate the military heroes of the Soviet Union and Russian Federation. 

Firefighters work at a site of a critical power infrastructure object, which was hit during Russia’s missile attacks in Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released December 6, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin and corporal David Malyikin, driver of the Russian 76th Airborne Division’s reconnaissance battalion, awarded with the Gold Star medal of the Hero of Russia, attend a ceremony on the eve of Heroes of the Fatherland Day at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022

Putin sought to justify Russian mass missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by claiming the ‘Ukrainians started it’ by blowing up a Russian-held bridge to Crimea

Putin’s vow to continue waging war in Ukraine came as Moscow gleefully accepted a prisoner exchange, offering WNBA star Brittney Griner to US officials in exchange for one of the world’s most notorious arms traffickers, Viktor Bout. 

The 55-year-old Bout, known as the ‘Merchant of Death’, was swapped for Griner earlier today on neutral ground in the United Arab Emirates.

He spent the last 12 years in federal prison in Marion, Illinois, on charges relating to arms dealing and conspiring with terrorists. He still had 13 years of his sentence remaining. 

Bout was infamous for his willingness to arm almost anyone, from militias in Sierra Leone and Charles Taylor’s brutal Liberian regime to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, his exploits inspiring the 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War starring Nicholas Cage, which was loosely based on Bout’s life.

Griner was detained in Russia days before the invasion of Ukraine after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage. 

A view shows a fire on the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022, in this screen grab from a handout video

Putin’s vow to continue waging war in Ukraine came as Moscow gleefully accepted a prisoner exchange, offering WNBA star Brittney Griner (L) to US officials in exchange for one of the world’s most notorious arms traffickers, Viktor Bout (R)

Heavy fighting continued to rage over the border in occupied Ukrainian territory as Putin justified his missile attacks to reporters in Moscow today.

The Donetsk region has been the epicentre of the recent fighting, with Russian artillery striking the centre of the town of Yampil, north east of Sloviansk, according to Ukrainian officials.

In Kurakhove, buildings in the city centre including the market and the central bus station were damaged in similar strikes.

More than 10 cities and villages in the region were under shelling, including the town of Bakhmut, which has remained in Ukrainian hands during the war despite Moscow’s goal of capturing the entire Donbas region bordering Russia.

Ukraine’s presidential office said 11 civilians were killed and a further 17 wounded in Ukraine on Wednesday.

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