Journalism of Courage

Ukraine To Citizens: Leave The Country To Avert Energy Crisis

The move came a day after one of the country's biggest energy firms said a spell abroad would stave off shortages nationwide. reports that parts of Ukraine are sending residents away to ensure that energy supplies do not collapse over the winter and that people are protected from hardship.

Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s power grid and other infrastructure from the air, causing widespread blackouts and leaving millions of Ukrainians without heat, power or water as frigid cold and snow blankets the capital Kyiv and other cities.

Authorities in recently retaken provinces started evacuating civilians on Monday, recognising that the damage to infrastructure was too severe to serve the local population. The move came a day after one of the country’s biggest energy firms said a spell abroad would stave off shortages nationwide.

“If they can find an alternative place to stay for another three or four months, it will be very helpful to the system,” Maxim Timchenko, DTEK chief executive. “If you consume less, then hospitals with injured soldiers will have guaranteed power supply. This is how it can be explained that by consuming less or leaving, they also contribute to other people.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after last week’s strikes that more than 10 million Ukrainians had been left without electricity.

“The restoration of networks and technical supply capabilities, the demining of power transmission lines, repairs — everything goes on round the clock,” he said.

In 15 Ukrainian regions, four-hour or longer power cuts were expected Monday, said Volodymyr Kudrytsky, head of Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo. More than 40 per cent of the country’s energy facilities have been damaged by Russian missile strikes in recent weeks.

Recently liberated areas of Kherson and Mykolaiv, which has been regularly shelled in the past few months by Russian forces, were advised to move to safer areas in central and western parts of the country, said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

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