By Phil Stewart
Nov 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has offered a preview of “a possible world of tyranny and turmoil,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a speech at a security forum in Moscow on Saturday. Canada.
Austin’s remarks were some of the strongest to date on the importance for the international community of helping kyiv prevail after nearly nine months of war, speaking at what may be a turning point in the conflict.
Following a series of battlefield defeats, Russia is targeting its missiles at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, potentially exposing millions of civilians to the winter cold. Moscow hopes to exhaust Ukraine’s missile defenses and buy time to readjust its forces, Pentagon officials say.
Austin said that Russia is breaking the laws of war. “These are not just lapses. They are not exceptions to the rule. They are atrocities,” she maintained.
“Russian missile barrages have left innocent Ukrainians without heat, water and electricity. We have seen schools attacked. Children killed. Hospitals bombed. Centers of Ukrainian history and culture reduced to rubble.”
Moscow denies that its armed forces deliberately target civilians or civilian infrastructure.
The United States and its allies have helped provide weapons, intelligence and training to Ukrainian forces, but have not directly intervened in a war against Russia. (Reporting by Phil Stewart. Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)