In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, western countries imposed crippling sanctions on Russia and have given Zelensky’s government in Ukraine tens of billions of dollars in lethal and non-lethal aid alike.
Russia retaliated by cutting gas exports to Western European countries that are reliant on the country for natural gas and most of their fuel needs.
Prior to Russia’s invasion, European countries were already facing surging gas prices and a potential fuel shortage in the next year.
As the war continues to drag on and Russia continues to cut fuel exports, European countries will face an unprecedented shortage this winter.
An analysis by Reuters last week found that many Europeans will be forced to choose between showering, eating, or heat as temperatures continue to go down due to the rising cost of energy.
President Zelensky warned earlier today that Russia is preparing another ‘decisive blow’ to European energy this year.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told Europeans to expect a difficult winter as the Russian assault on his country leads to cuts in oil and gas exports by Moscow.
Zelenskyy was speaking on Saturday night after Moscow shut down a main pipeline that supplies Russian gas to the continent.
“Russia is preparing a decisive energy blow on all Europeans for this winter,” he said in his daily video address.
Moscow has cited Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine and technical issues for the energy disruptions. European countries who have backed the Kyiv government with diplomatic and military support have accused Russia of weaponising energy supplies.
Some analysts say the shortages and a surge in living costs as winter approaches risk sapping Western support for Kyiv as governments try to deal with disgruntled populations.