Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from the recently-liberated areas of the Kherson region and the neighboring province of Mykolaiv, fearing that lack of water, electricity and heat due to damage of the energy infrastructure by Russian bombardments is too severe for people to endure in the upcoming winter.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, disclosed that residents of the two southern regions, regularly bombarded in the past months by Russian forces, have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country.
The government will provide “transportation, accommodation, medical care,” she said.
The evacuations come more than a week after Ukraine recaptured the city of Kherson and areas around it. The liberation of the area marked a major battlefield victory.
The current evacuations emphasize the difficulties the country is facing due to heavy Russian barrage of its power infrastructure. As winter begins, inhabitants need electricity to keep warm. However, Russia has bombed most of the country’s power plants.
Russian-installed authorities in the Kherson region on Monday, November 21, 2022 also echoed their call to people to evacuate an area on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, which Russia now controls.
Russia has established defense lines along the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, fearing that Ukrainian forces would push deeper into the region.
Since Ukraine retook the Kherson city just over a week ago, Russia has launched missiles into Ukraine’s power grid and other infrastructure, resulting in widespread blackouts and leaving millions of Ukrainians without heat, power or water as frosty cold and snow engulfs the capital, Kyiv and other cities.
On Sunday, powerful explosions shook Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
In the eastern Donetsk region, which is partially controlled by Moscow, Russian forces bombed 14 towns and villages, the region’s Ukrainian Governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko stated.
Heavy fighting was ongoing in the region near the city Bakhmut, where a school was damaged by shelling. In Makiivka, which is under Russian control, an oil depot was hit with “an explosive object” and caught fire.
Russian-installed authorities revealed that more than 105,000 consumers in the province’s capital, Donetsk, were left without electricity after the recent missile attacks destroyed power lines.
Officials said that one person was killed by the shelling and 59 miners were trapped underground after power was cut off in four coal mines in the city.
Power Outages Expected In Parts Of Ukraine
According to Volodymyr Kudrytsky, the head of Ukraine’s state grid operator, Ukrenergo, four-hour or longer power outages were scheduled in fifteen, out of twenty-seven Ukrainian regions on Monday, November 21, 2022.
More than forty percent of the country’s energy facilities were damaged by Russian missile strikes in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, people in Kyiv prepare for a difficult winter season. Kyiv authorities announced that they are setting up communal heating points. In the city of 3 million people, 528 emergency points have been identified.
Residents will be able to keep warm, drink tea, recharge their phones and get any necessary help there. The heating points will be equipped with autonomous power sources, as well as special boiler rooms.
Many residents in Kyiv have begun to leave boxes of food, flashlights and power banks in elevators, in case anyone gets stuck in an elevator for a long time. Due to the lack of electricity, public transport is disrupted, many small shops cannot operate, and some medical institutions can only work to a limited capacity.