Russia’s continued airstrikes on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure amount to “state terrorism,” according to Germany’s Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann.
Lührmann visited the country on Wednesday as part of a delegation of seven high-ranking European ministers.
“It’s shocking to see for yourself what’s happening here in Kyiv,” Lührmann told DW’s Nick Connolly in the Ukrainian capital.
“Our Ukrainian hosts took us to see one of the bomb sites. Three innocent people lost their lives, and that’s all down to Russian state terrorism. It’s deeply troubling what’s happening here, just a few hours’ travel away from Germany’s borders.”
Lührmann is one of three deputies under Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Her comments come on the same day European Union lawmakers voted to label Russia a “state sponsor” of terrorism.
The designation is largely a symbolic act since the EU does not have a specific legal framework to back it up.
Russia has ramped up attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine in recent weeks. This has left millions without heating and caused widespread blackouts as winter approaches.
State power company Ukrenergo called the damage to its facilities “colossal” while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of using the cold as “a weapon of mass destruction.”
Zelenskyy told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Russia had fired around 70 missiles on Wednesday alone, hitting hospitals, schools, infrastructure and residential areas.
In response to this looming crisis, Ukraine’s European allies have pledged aid to Kyiv.
“It’s clear that Putin wants Ukraine to sink into cold and darkness this winter,” Lührmann said.
“Ukrainians are facing up to all this with great bravery and we’re here to help them meet these challenges — not just with words of encouragement but also with action.”
In Kyiv, she announced an additional €55 million ($57.3 million) worth of aid to Ukraine, including generators that are set to arrive in the country in coming days.
“Ukraine has our full solidarity,” Lührmann added. “I believe that it’s not only Ukraine that would benefit for membership in the EU — the EU will be a better place with Ukraine as a member.”
Interview conducted by: Nick Connolly
Edited by: Rob Turner