Kremlin says US, NATO ‘directly participating’ in Ukraine war: Live updates

The U.S. and NATO are directly involved in the war in Ukraine even though war between nuclear superpowers should be unthinkable because of the damage it could bring to the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday. 

“We are watching with concern the rhetoric that the West is spouting, accusing us of allegedly preparing some kind of provocation using weapons of mass destruction,” Lavrov said.

But he said the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and other nations are providing Ukraine’s advanced weaponry – and the soldiers who are teaching Ukraine how to use that weaponry. The West, he said, is “directly participating in the war, which they are waging against Russia with the hands of Ukrainians,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov blamed Russia’s attacks on Ukraine energy generation plants, which have limited access to power for millions of Ukrainians as winter rolls in, on the West. He said Russia disables energy plants Ukraine needs to fight its war. The West, Lavrov said, “pumps Ukraine with deadly weapons to kill Russians, so don’t say that the United States and NATO are not involved in this war.”

Other developments:

►Lavrov said Moscow remains ready to negotiate: “We never asked for talks but always said that we are ready to listen to those who are interested in a negotiated settlement.”

►Asked if a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden is possible, Lavrov responded that “we don’t shun contacts” but added that “we haven’t yet heard any serious ideas yet.”

►Russia postponed a round of nuclear arms control talks with the United States scheduled for this week because “it’s impossible to discuss strategic stability nowadays while ignoring everything that is happening in Ukraine,” Lavrov said

►Air raid warning sirens blanketed Ukraine on Thursday except for Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine’s ICTV said. Russia has been battering numerous Ukraine cities almost daily since the war began.

Ukraine city gets power, heat after a week in the cold

The power is back on in the central Ukraine city of Ladyzhyn, almost a week after a Russian rocket strike severely damaged a thermal power plant. The attack left 18,000 people in the dark and cold as temperatures in the city have hovered around freezing. Vinnytsia region’s emergency services agency had declared a military emergency, and local authorities have deployed generators, charging stations, potbelly stoves and blankets.

Work is underway to diversify the heating system, said Serhiy Borzov, head of the Vinnytsia Regional Military Administration.

“Neither the winter frost, nor the darkness, nor any other manifestations of terror will help the aggressor conquer the Ukrainians,” Borzov said.

A man rides his hoverboard as he clears snow from a pitch ahead of a soccer game in Irpin, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

World Cup fabulously popular but hard to see in Ukraine

Soccer is Ukraine’s most popular sport; archrival clubs Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv are known across Europe. And the Ukrainian national soccer team’s heroic but ill-fated effort to reach the World Cup finals now underway in Qatar has not diminished interest in the extravaganza. But with rolling power outages and struggling Internet, watching the global past time’s greatest show can be difficult.

“I have to live with it. I know who made this (happen),” said Hlib Kuian,a 21-year-old university economics student. “I know that the Russian Federation wants that I live like this.”

Contributing: The Associated Press