Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that there is “no alternative” for Ukraine other than regaining control of Crimea.
“The world should understand: only when the Ukrainian flag returns to Crimea – when there is freedom there – will respect and order be restored to international relations,” Zelenskyy said in a video message from his office.
On Friday, Ukraine’s president hosted an official iftar for the country’s Muslims, including military personnel, officials, and diplomats. The event, which represents the breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, is the first in a new tradition, according to him.
Zelenskyi also spoke out against Russia’s treatment of Crimea’s Muslim Tatar community. The Crimean Peninsula is home to a Muslim ethnic minority. However, many people have recently fled due to fear of persecution. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently proposed that Kiev give up the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, as a compromise in a potential peace treaty with Moscow.
After a six-month hiatus due to Russian missile attacks on the country’s infrastructure, Ukraine will resume electricity exports to Europe.
Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko stated on Friday that Ukraine’s electricity grid has been operational for nearly two months without any consumption restrictions or the use of a power reserve.
“The most difficult winter is over,” Halushchenko said, according to reports. “The next step is to restart power exports, which will enable us to secure additional funding for the necessary reconstruction of the destroyed and damaged power infrastructure.”
Ukraine could export a maximum of 400 megawatts to the European power grid. However, the actual volume of exports will depend on the needs of Ukrainian consumers, the minister said.
Despite the war, Ukraine continued to export electricity to the European Union and neighboring Moldova until October, when Russia began targeting Kiev’s infrastructure. Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense in its daily briefing on the war predicted that Ukraine’s energy situation would improve as the weather warmed up.
Preparations for the coming winter are already underway, the ministry said. It added that Russian strikes in energy infrastructure had become rare in the past month.
“Russia’s campaign to severely disrupt Ukraine’s Unified Energy System (UES) in the winter of 2022-23 most likely failed,” the ministry said. It added that smaller-scale strikes, while ongoing, are likely to have less of an impact on the unified power system.