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Will Ukrainians spend a winter without electricity or heating?


In its invasion of Ukraine, Russia seems to have opted for a new tactic: using drones to target the country’s electrical installations. What make Ukrainians fear to spend the winter without electricity, heating or hot water. Nearly a third of power plants have been destroyed in one week, according to kyiv, and more than a thousand localities have been deprived of electricity since Tuesday, October 18, even though temperatures could quickly drop to -10°C and even -20°C.

In the Khariv region, in the east of the country, the inhabitants are trying to organize themselves to find a refuge in order to spend the winter in the warmth. At the same time, local authorities are trying to restore electricity. In other cities, especially in the center of the country, hospitals were without power. Besides the objective of undermining the morale of the Ukrainian population as winter approaches, the Russian strikes could potentially trigger a humanitarian crisis. An international aid agency, which did not want to be quoted, estimates with the British daily The Guardian that 2 million more people could flee the country, adding to the 7.7 million who have already left Ukraine.

Microwaves and irons in the harbor

The Ukrainian authorities, through the voice of the deputy head of the office of the president, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, have already warned their fellow citizens, during an address on national television, that they should prepare for a harsh winter. On Wednesday evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his fellow citizens to restrict their electricity consumption from this Thursday, 7 a.m. His request was relayed by the mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, who ordered his constituents to refrain from turning on microwave ovens, air conditioners, electric kettles or electric heaters between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

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Earlier, the Ukrainian presidency announced earlier “restrictions for electricity supply” across the country on Thursday, and the creation of mobile electricity supply points for critical infrastructure. Because now, more than 1,000 localities are without electricity. And heating or water could run out if the Russian strikes continue…

Faced with this situation, “we are working on the creation of mobile electricity supply points for critical infrastructure in cities and villages”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky explained on Wednesday during a “strategic meeting”. .

Without an urgent supply of new defense weapons to stem the targeted Russian offensive, Ukraine is on the verge of sinking into a situation of fuel poverty. If it is necessary to recall that the annoyances linked to the lack of electricity on Ukrainian territory should weigh as much on the Russian troops as on the heart of the Ukrainian ranks, the concern is growing. British Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence, James Cleverly and Ben Wallace, traveled to Washington on Wednesday to discuss the new military aid program for Ukraine. London calls for improving the air defenses of the country led by Volodymyr Zelensky. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wanted to be reassuring and expects assistance to arrive in the coming days.

It also remains to be seen whether Moscow will have the means to continue its targeted strikes. According to Western officials quoted by Politico Europe“the Russians’ ability to continue with these saturating barrages of precision weapons is now reaching the point where it will not be tenable”.


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