Ukraine is evacuating cities now uninhabitable without heating and electricity

Local resident Tetiana Reznychenko, 43, is seen in her apartment without electricity, heating and water on the fifth floor of a residential building destroyed by a Russian military strike in the Ukrainian village of Horenka, which was badly damaged by gunfire in the early days of the Russian invasion, November 19 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Tetiana Reznychenko huddles in her apartment, which has no electricity, heating or water (Image: Reuters)

Ukrainians have been warned to prepare for a “life-threatening” winter after Russian artillery strikes left millions without power and hospitals unable to function properly.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used his nightly address to urge people to save energy, especially in hard-hit areas like Kyiv, Vinnytsia in the south-west, Sumy in the north and Odessa on the Black Sea.

Authorities have started evacuating residents from recently liberated parts of Kherson and Mykolaiv amid fears that lack of heat, electricity and water will make living conditions too difficult.

The World Health Organization has issued a chilling warning about the human impact of the energy crisis.

dr Hans Henri Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine.

“Attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean that hundreds of hospitals and health facilities are no longer fully operational due to lack of fuel, water and electricity.”

Sergey Kovalenko, the head of YASNO, which supplies Kyiv with energy, said daily power outages across the country are likely to last until at least March.

“Get some warm clothes and blankets, think about options to help you wait a long outage,” he added. “It’s better to do it now than to be unhappy.”

Local resident Tetiana Reznychenko, 43, shovels snow near her destroyed building, which has no electricity, heating or water, in the Ukrainian village of Horenka, which was badly damaged by fighting in the early days of the Russian invasion on November 19, 2022 . REUTERS /Gleb Garanich

Tetiana shovels snow near her destroyed building (Image: Reuters)

KHERSON, UKRAINE – NOVEMBER 21: Residents sort donated used clothes at a charity center on November 21, 2022 in Kherson, Ukraine. Ukrainian forces took control of Kherson and parts of the surrounding region last week after Russia withdrew its forces across the Dnipro River. Kherson was the only regional capital to be taken by Russia after the February 24 invasion. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Residents sort donated used clothes at a relief center in Kherson (Image: Getty)

POKROVSK, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 21: Civilians are seen boarding as evacuation of civilians from Donbass is carried out at Pokrovsk railway station in Ukraine as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images )

Civilians are seen boarding evacuation buses in Donbass (Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

POKROVSK, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 21: Civilians are seen boarding as evacuation of civilians from Donbass is carried out at Pokrovsk railway station in Ukraine as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images )

Older people, women with children and people with disabilities are prioritized (Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Fire burns at a fuel depot after shelling in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Makiivka (Makeyevka), Russian-controlled Ukraine November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Fire burns at a fuel depot after shelling (Image: Reuters)

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said people living in Kherson can request to be relocated to areas where security and heating problems are less severe.

In a telegram message to residents – particularly the elderly, women with children and the sick or disabled – she wrote that the government would provide them with transport, shelter and medical care.

The evacuations come more than a week after Ukraine retook the city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnieper and surrounding areas in a major battlefield win.

Since then, as residents and authorities head into winter, it’s becoming clear just how much energy and other infrastructure the Russians damaged or destroyed before their retreat.

Ukraine is known for its brutal winter weather, and snow has already blanketed Kyiv, the capital, and other parts of the country.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/22/ukraine-evacuates-liberated-areas-amid-warnings-of-life-threatening-winter-17802968/ Ukraine is evacuating cities now uninhabitable without heating and electricity

Justin Scacco

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