Western allies to help Ukraine brave winter of war

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Bucharest, Nov 29 (AFP/APP):NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that Russia was using winter as a "weapon of war" against Ukraine, as Western allies meeting in Bucharest planned to help Kyiv mend its ravaged power grid.
              US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was to announce "substantial" financial aid to help Ukraine deal with damaged infrastructure on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO's foreign ministers.
              A senior US official said the assistance would "not be the end" and pointed out the Biden administration had budgeted $1.1 billion for energy spending in Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova.
              A Russian campaign of missile strikes has severely damaged Ukraine's energy infrastructure and plunged millions into darkness as the country braces against the first snows and chill winds of winter.
              Stoltenberg said "the message from all of us will be that we need to do more" to help Kyiv fix its gas and electricity infrastructure and provide air defence to help it protect itself better.
              He said he expected Russia to carry out more attacks on Ukraine's grid as the Kremlin suffers defeats on the ground and warned Europe should "be prepared for more refugees". 
              "Russia is actually failing on the battlefield. In response to that they are now attacking civilian targets, cities because they're not able to win territory," Stoltenberg said at the start of the two-day meeting. 
              Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was to meet his NATO counterparts to urge them to send more weaponry for Kyiv and assistance in coping with Moscow's attacks.