Ukraine needs more gas and weapons, Zelenskyy tells G7

Ukrainian President also calls on 'occupier' Russia to leave by Christmas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kherson last month. AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Ukraine needs extra gas and weapons, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the G7 on Monday, as a brutal winter threatens to bring further suffering to millions in the war-torn country.

Many people are facing freezing temperatures without power or heating with snow on the ground and Ukraine's energy grid battered by Russian strikes.

Mr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed "about two billion cubic metres" of additional gas to get through the winter.

He was speaking on a video conference with the G7 group of wealthy nations on Monday.

He urged the G7 to send more weapons to Ukraine, including "modern tanks", "rocket artillery and more long-range missiles".

Western-supplied weapons have helped to turn the tide in the war, and a senior US military official said on Monday that Russia was probably turning to older, less reliable artillery and rocket ammunition as its newer stocks run low.

But Mr Zelenskyy said: "Russia still has the advantage in artillery and missiles. This is a fact.

"These capabilities of the occupying army are the ones to fuel the Kremlin's arrogance".

Ukraine war latest - in pictures

Meanwhile, in the strategic Ukrainian port of Ochakiv, officials are hoping the Black Sea naval base can be used to serve to consolidate Kyiv's gains in the southern Kherson region.

After failing to seize the port, Russian troops have been pummelling Ochakiv from the nearby Kinburn Peninsula.

In the fog at the local market, Oleg Klyutshko, 62, said: "I am not afraid of winter … but I would like the strikes to stop. We will survive anything else."

Kyiv says 40 per cent of Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure has been damaged, with wave after wave of Russian attacks.

Ukraine becomes dark patch in night satellite images - in pictures

The Ukrainian Energy Ministry said that Russian missiles had hit all of the country's thermal power plants, while 44 overhead high-voltage power lines had also been affected.

Power company Yasno said supply limits in Kyiv were "significant", with about 40 per cent of resources diverted to critical infrastructure.

Oil and gas company DTEK said its specialists were "constantly looking for equipment to restore the energy infrastructure destroyed by Russia", and had agreed on contracts with European suppliers ABB and Siemens.

"The terror against our power plants forced us to use more gas than expected," Mr Zelenskyy told the G7.

"This is why we need additional support over this particular winter."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy named Time's Person of the Year - video

The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany — which holds the club's presidency — Italy, Japan and the US.

G7 leaders agreed on key elements of a platform to co-ordinate financial support for Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, before a summit in Paris on post-war reconstruction.

Mr Zelenskyy also proposed a special summit, which he called the Global Peace Formula Summit, "to determine how and when we can implement the points of the Ukrainian Peace Formula", which would secure the country's security and territorial integrity.

He invited the G7 nations "as well as other conscientious countries" to "show your leadership".

Mr Zelenskyy also urged Russia "to take a concrete and meaningful step towards a diplomatic settlement".

He called on "the occupier" Moscow to leave Ukrainian territory by Christmas.

"The one who brought the war upon us has to take it away," Mr Zelenskyy said.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 1:10 AM