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Kyiv mayor urges residents of Ukrainian capital to be prepared for blackouts until spring

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KYIV, UKRAINE: Kyiv surviving power and water outages. After yesterday attack 70% of people in Kyiv have no electrical power at home. (Andre Luis Alves - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 29, 2022 - 03:12 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – The mayor of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Monday urged residents to be prepared for blackouts until spring.

“We are trying to restore everything as quickly as possible, switch to clear schedules so that there are no surprises, and then switch to an uninterrupted supply of electricity. But we must be prepared for the fact that there may be outages before spring,” Vitali Klitschko told the RBK-Ukraine news agency.

Klitschko said issues related to electricity are also connected to cold weather, where many people consume more electricity through heating devices, so creating a greater load on the country’s energy system.

Concerning speculations that there are plans to evacuate Kyiv due to Russian strikes, Klitschko said it would be a “big mistake” if they did not prepare for different scenarios.

“If a year ago, this time in December, someone would have started talking about what would happen in the future — about people being murdered, about war, about rape, about genocide — he would not be called a sane person. But today, unfortunately, this is a terrible, harsh reality. We don’t want to keep anyone in a warm bath, but we don’t want to scare them either,” Klitschko also said.

He added that there will not be a complete evacuation of the city, but did not rule out the possibility of a partial evacuation.

“This is a temporary relocation of certain categories of people to the suburbs, where services may be available,” he said, responding with a “no” to a question on possible relocations to other regions or abroad.

Klitschko said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “desire” and goal is to destroy Ukraine’s energy system.

“For him (Putin), the best scenario would be for us all to take our bags and go somewhere, leave the country, go to the West, and he would enter our homes without obstacles and take our places, our country. This is his dream,” Klitschko said.

Klitschko said there is a possibility of Russia trying to take Kyiv as it is “the heart of the country” and “was and remains the target of the aggressor.”

“I really hope, and we are doing everything so, that we celebrate the next New Year in a peaceful Ukraine freed from the aggressor,” Klitschko concluded.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

‘40% of Kyiv region without power’

The governor of the Kyiv region announced later on Monday that around 40% of the region is currently without power.

“According to the decision of Ukrenergo (Ukraine’s national energy company), emergency shutdowns of electricity supply continue in the Kyiv region. About 40% of the region is currently without power. These are the consequences of a massive rocket attack that happened last week,” Oleksiy Kuleba said in a post on Telegram.

Kuleba also said line breaks and emergency shutdowns were recorded in the Kyiv region due to bad weather and icing.

“Energy workers work non-stop and do everything to restore electricity and return to planned shutdowns with a schedule,” Kuleba further noted, adding that 278 “Points of Invincibility” are currently operating in the Kyiv region.​​​​​​​

Separately, private Ukrainian energy company DTEK declared that 55% of the capital’s subscribers are in emergency shutdown mode and that repair works are ongoing in the energy system.

The statement came as Ukrenergo, still grappling with extensive damage to its infrastructure, announced countrywide curbs on energy consumption on Sunday.

Over the past week, Russian strikes have hit the infrastructure in multiple regions, including the capital Kyiv, with Ukrenergo, as a response, announcing emergency shutdowns in all regions “to protect power grids from additional technological accidents and support the operation of the power system.”

To provide basic services during power outages inflicted by Russian strikes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced last week that “Points of Invincibility” have been deployed across the country “providing heat, electricity, and communication.”

Since the Moscow-Kyiv war started in February, Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been the target of Russian airstrikes that increased after an explosion on Oct. 8 damaged the key Kerch Bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

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