Kiev mayor calls on residents to brace for harsh winter amid gas shortages
The mayor of Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city, has called on the residents to brace up for a cold winter, warning of interruptions in gas and electricity supply amid the simmering war.
In an interview with a local media outlet, Vitalii Klychko said he does not want to “reassure” people that “everything will be fine”, pointing to “harsh realities” in the war-torn country.
He said the gas will be made available in the capital city but urged people to be prepared for “different scenarios” amid the war that is now into its sixth month.
“Gas is the responsibility of the government; they have given us assurances that there will be enough gas for the population and that it will not become more expensive,” Klychko was quoted as saying.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in east Ukraine.
Over the past six months, Russian forces have seized large swathes of the country, with Western countries imposing unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.
The conflict has resulted in major disruptions in the global energy market as Russia remains a major producer and exporter of both oil and natural gas.
The Kiev mayor said they have bought generators and fuel for them, saying the first priority will be hospitals, kindergartens, and schools.
Klychko also warned that "there may be power outages", but added that the authorities will do everything they can to ensure this does not happen.
Last week, at least 3,000 people were evacuated from the eastern region of Donetsk, as part of compulsory evacuations ahead of the biting winter season.