Although the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson was good news for Ukrainians, the withdrawal has created some problems, especially because winter has arrived.
Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from recently liberated sections of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, as they fear that lack of heat, power and water due to Russian shelling will make living conditions too difficult this winter. The World Health Organization has warned that millions face a “life-threatening” winter in Ukraine.
Russian forces have been shelling the two regions and as a result, critical infrastructure in these two regions has been rendered useless. Authorities are asking people to move to the central and western part of Ukraine, which are comparatively safer.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Monday that the government will be providing transportation, accommodations and medical care for the people. Priority will be given to women with children, the sick and elderly.
Last month, the deputy prime minister had even urged Ukrainians living abroad, who left the country when the war started, to stay abroad and. not return to Ukraine for now as their return will increase Ukraine's energy consumption, which is not something that Ukraine can afford.
Other officials in the Ukrainian government are asking people in Kyiv and other regions to leave Ukraine and move to some other country for the time being, if they have the ability to do so, as that will reduce Ukraine's energy consumption and increase the chances that sufficient power will be available for hospitals.
The WHO has said, "This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine. Attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational, lacking fuel, water and electricity."
Snowfall has already begun in Ukraine, and the terrible condition of Ukrainians is getting lost in triumphalist reporting about Ukrainian gains at the tactical level.
Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s power grid and other infrastructure from the air for weeks, causing widespread blackouts and leaving millions of Ukrainians without electricity, heat and water.
To cope, four-hour or longer power outages were scheduled Monday in 15 of Ukraine's 27 regions, according to Volodymyr Kudrytsky, head of Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo. Ukrenergo plans more outages Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian missile strikes have damaged more than 50 per cent of the country’s energy facilities.
Zelenskyy on Monday repeated his demand that Russia should be declared a "terrorist" state. He said that attacks on energy infrastructure were equal to "use of a weapon of mass destruction." These claims by the Ukrainian president are not factual, in fact, attack on rival's energy infrastructure is the first step a belligerent takes during war.
Many analysts are actually puzzled and surprised as to why Russia delayed attacks on energy infrastructure for so long.
In recent days, the credibility of Zelenskyy has gone down because even after US President Joe Biden's disclosure that Russia was not responsible for the strike on Poland, even after the emergence of evidence that it was a result of Ukraine's own malfunctioning missile defence system, the Ukrainian president continues to blame Russia.
Reports and evidence from the ground suggests that Ukraine is targeting Russia's energy infrastructure as well. Ukraine is in fact shelling regions which it claims are a part of its territory, such as Donetsk.
These territories are now controlled by Russia but they are Ukrainian territory, and yet, Ukraine is targeting Donetsk's energy infrastructure.
As a result of Ukraine's attack on Donetsk's critical infrastructure, power lines were damaged, which not only left 105,000 people without electricity but also resulted in the entrapment of 59 miners underground, as the coal miners could not come out from the mine due to energy blackout.
It is not clear if the coal miners have been evacuated now or if they are still trapped.
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