Ukraine is restricting power use Thursday in response to Russian attacks that damaged parts of the country’s electrical infrastructure.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged people to conserve energy in an address late Wednesday.
He said the government was working to create “mobile power supply points for critical infrastructure in cities and villages.”
Ukraine’s power grid operator said supply restrictions would be in place from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., and that as colder months approach, it may need to take such steps again in the future.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council met Wednesday in a private meeting at the request of the United States, Britain and France to discuss the issue of Russia using Iranian-made drones in its war in Ukraine.
Washington, London and Paris say Tehran’s supplying of these unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia is a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which allows for transfers of restricted items to or from Iran only when approved on a case-by-case basis by the Security Council. No such approval has been sought.
“We had a very clear indication that the drones have been delivered from Iran to Russia and they have been used in Ukraine,” France’s ambassador Nicolas de Riviere told reporters as he left the meeting. “This is a violation of Resolution 2231.”
“We anticipate this will be the first of many conversations at the U.N. on how to hold Iran and Russia accountable for failing to comply with U.N. Security Council-imposed obligations,” said Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
“As was outlined during today’s meeting, there is ample evidence that Russia is using Iranian-made UAVs in cruel and deliberate attacks against the people of Ukraine, including against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure,” he added, “in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”
Ukrainian officials have said drones used in waves of attacks during the past week, including on the capital, Kyiv, were Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack drones that Russia used to carry explosives and crash into their targets.
Iran’s U.N. ambassador told reporters that his government categorically rejects the “unfounded and unsubstantiated claims,” which he said are part of a disinformation campaign against his government.
“It is disappointing to pursue their political agenda, these states are trying to launch a disinformation campaign against Iran and make misleading interpretation of the Security Council Resolution 2231 in order to wrongly establish a link between their baseless allegation against Iran with this resolution,” Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani said.
Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy told reporters that the allegations are “baseless,” there have been no arms transfers in violation of the resolution and no Iranian drones were supplied to Russia for use in Ukraine.
“I would recommend that you do not underestimate the technological capabilities of the Russian drone industry,” Dmitry Polyanskiy said. “I can tell you we know what we do, and we know how to do it.”
Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that in the past week alone, more than 100 Iranian-made drones have slammed into power plants, sewage treatment plants, residential buildings, bridges and other targets in urban areas.
U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer contributed to this article. Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.