Putin ally says Russia will 'send Ukraine back to the 18th century'

‘We will send Ukraine back to the 18th century’: Vladimir Putin ally says Russian troops will keep targeting energy plants in bid to wreck country’s infrastructure

  • Putin ally Pyotr Tolstoy said Russia will ‘send Ukraine back to the 18th century’
  • Duma deputy speaker said strikes on Ukraine’s power stations would continue
  • He also warned that Ukraine’s allies ‘will pay the price’ for assisting the nation

Vladimir Putin will ‘send Ukraine back to the 18th century’ by pushing ahead with attacks on the country’s energy facilities, one of his top allies has claimed.

Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of the Duma, warned there would be no let-up in the Russian strikes on Ukrainian power stations ahead of winter.

‘The infrastructure of Ukraine will be destroyed, and Ukraine will be sent back to the 18th century,’ the member of Putin’s United Russia party declared.

In a tirade on French broadcaster BFM, the MP from Russia’s rubber-stamp parliament, who has been sanctioned by the US, the EU and Britain, warned that Ukraine’s allies ‘will pay the price’.

He added that the West should ‘prepare itself for a war that will last years’. But Mr Tolstoy’s bizarre intervention appears to be at odds with a statement made by the Russian defence ministry yesterday.

A resident wounded after a Russian attack lies inside an ambulance before being taken to a hospital in Kherson, southern Ukraine on Thursday

A Ukrainian paramedic helps an injured resident moments after a Russian strike in Kherson on Thursday

Two residents look at the damage in their neighbourhood after a Russian strike in Kherson on Thursday

Vladimir Putin (pictured) will ‘send Ukraine back to the 18th century’ by pushing ahead with attacks on the country’s energy facilities, top ally Pyotr Tolstoy has claimed

Officials in Moscow made the baseless claim that the damage to the Ukrainian capital’s critical infrastructure had been caused by ‘foreign and Ukrainian’ air defence missiles.

‘Not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv,’ the Russian defence ministry said, although it failed to address similar attacks that knocked out power elsewhere.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later said Ukraine could ‘end the suffering’ by backing down in ‘such a way as to fulfil the requirement of the Russian side’. ‘The leadership of Ukraine has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal,’ Mr Peskov, Putin’s long-serving propagandist, said.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected Ukraine’s demand that they pull out of the country before peace talks can begin.

Since the start of October, Russia has fired a barrage of missiles and sent Iranian-made drones towards energy targets across Ukraine to cripple its power grid as temperatures plummet below freezing.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen branded the bombardments ‘war crimes’, adding: ‘Women, men, children are freezing in the dark because of Putin’s deliberate and barbaric targeting of the country’s civilian infrastructure.’

‘The infrastructure of Ukraine will be destroyed, and Ukraine will be sent back to the 18th century,’ warned Pyotr Tolstoy (pictured), the deputy speaker of the Duma in Russia

Tolstoy warned there would be no let-up in the Russian strikes on Ukrainian power stations ahead of winter. Pictured: Ukrainian firefighters putting out a fire at an energy facility damaged by Russian missile strike

The UN’s World Health Organisation has warned of ‘life-threatening’ consequences if the Russian attacks continue and estimate millions more could flee the country as a result.

In Kyiv last night, mayor Vitali Klitschko said more than two-thirds of the city remained cut off, although some water supplies had been restored overnight.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s armed forces said that Russia had fired up to 70 cruise missiles at Ukrainian towns and cities on Wednesday.

‘Calling for peace while launching missiles at peaceful cities (is) the highest degree of personality disorder,’ said Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky, yesterday.

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