Kyiv must be ‘prepared’ for blackout, mayor says, as Ukrainian president warns millions without power
The mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, has warned residents that they must prepare for the worst this winter if Russia continues to hit the country’s energy infrastructure – and that means he is not out of the question. having no electricity, water or heating in the freezing cold.
- Volodymyr Zelensky says 4.5 million people in the country are without electricity
- Kyiv experiences hourly power cuts in parts of the city and surrounding region
- Mr Zelenskyy also said Russia was suffering heavy losses in eastern Donetsk, Ukraine.
“We are doing everything to prevent this from happening but, let’s be honest, our enemies are doing everything so that the city is without heat, without electricity and without water and, in general, that we all die,” said Mayor Vitali Klitschko .
Earlier on Friday local time, Mr Klitschko confirmed that 450,000 people were without power in the Ukrainian capital, urging people to use energy sparingly.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation on Sunday that around 4.5 million people were without power.
Russia has been focused on striking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure over the past month, causing power shortages and blackouts across the country.
Kyiv had rolling blackouts every hour on Sunday in parts of the city and surrounding region.
Continued power cuts were also expected in Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv and Poltava regions, Ukraine’s state-owned energy operator said.
Kyiv plans to deploy around 1,000 heating points, but it is unclear whether this will be enough for a city of 3 million people.
As Russia intensifies its attacks on the capital, Ukrainian forces advance south.
Residents of the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson have received warning messages on their phones urging them to evacuate as soon as possible, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday.
Russian soldiers warned civilians that the Ukrainian army was preparing for a massive attack and told people to leave immediately towards the right bank of the city.
Russia suffers heavy losses in Donetsk region, says Zelenskyy
Russia is suffering heavy losses in continuing “ferocious” attacks in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region and preparing new attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Zelenskyy said.
“The very ferocious Russian attacks on the Donetsk region are continuing. The enemy is suffering heavy casualties there,” he also said in his nightly video address.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian army accused Russia of the large-scale destruction of civilian ships moored on the banks of the Dnipro river in the occupied southern region of Kherson that Kyiv forces are trying to capture.
Ukrainian forces have pressured Russian troops on the west bank of the Dnipro which bisects Ukraine, fueling speculation that troops from Moscow are preparing to withdraw to the other side.
The Ukrainian General Staff spokesman said in a statement that fuel from the destroyed ships had seeped into the river delta and also accused Moscow forces of appropriating the ships’ engines and other equipment .
He gave no explanation for Moscow’s actions. The destruction of civilian ships would prevent Ukrainian forces from using them if they decided to cross to the east in the event of a Russian withdrawal.
There was no immediate comment from the Russian Defense Ministry.
The statement was part of a pattern of growing tension in the region, where Russian-installed occupation officials said on Sunday that an act of sabotage had cut off electricity and water supplies to the city of Kherson and a number of settlements.