Ukraine promises shelters for its people as winter sets in

  • ‘Invincibility Center’ provides heat, water and internet
  • Russia targets power grid causing widespread blackouts
  • G7 to announce Russian oil price cap soon – U.S. official

Kyiv, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Ukraine has pledged to provide heated and watered shelters and encourage its people to conserve energy as a harsh winter looms as a relentless strike in Russia shatters its power structure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening video address on Tuesday that special “invincibility centers” will be set up across Ukraine, providing free electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone connections and pharmacies around the clock.

A single Russian attack left as many as 10 million consumers without power for extended periods of time. Ukraine’s national grid operator said on Tuesday the losses were huge.

“If Russia launches another large-scale attack and it becomes clear that power will not be restored for hours, the ‘Invincibility Center’ will act with all critical services,” Zelensky said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmikhal said this week that about 8,500 generators are imported into Ukraine every day.

Much of the country has seen the first snow of winter in the past week.

Authorities have warned of power outages that could affect millions by the end of March – the latest fallout from a nine-month Russian invasion that has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions and battered the global economy.

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Russia’s attack on Ukrainian energy facilities follows a series of battlefield setbacks, including the retreat of its troops from the southern city of Kherson to the east bank of the Dnieper River that divides Ukraine in two.

A week after it was recaptured by Ukrainian troops, residents of Kherson removed Russian propaganda billboards and replaced them with pro-Ukrainian slogans.

“As soon as our soldiers came in, these posters were printed and handed over to us. We got workers to put them on, and we got rid of the advertisements as quickly as possible,” said Antonina Dobrozhenska, who works in the government’s communications department. )Say.

A Russian missile hit a maternity hospital in the Zaporozhye region, killing a baby, the region’s governor said on the Telegram messaging service.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Fighting rages in the east as Russia launches an offensive along a stretch of the front west of the city of Donetsk, which has been controlled by its proxies since 2014. The Donetsk region has suffered heavy attacks and constant shelling in the past 24 hours, Zelensky said.

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In Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Russian air defenses were activated and repelled two drone strikes on Tuesday, one targeting Sevastopol, the regional governor said A nearby power station. Sevastopol is the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Russia’s appointed governor, Mikhail Razvozaev, called for calm and said no damage had been done.

“Darkest Days”

The World Health Organization warned this week that hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals and health facilities were short of fuel, water and electricity.

“Ukraine’s health system is facing the darkest days of the war so far. After more than 700 attacks, it is now also a victim of an energy crisis,” WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kruger said in a statement after the visit Say. Ukraine.

Russian state news agency TASS last week quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Russia’s strike on energy infrastructure was the result of Kyiv’s reluctance to negotiate.

Russia said it was conducting a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect the Russian-speaking community.

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Ukraine and the West have described Russia’s actions as gratuitous imperialist predation of its once-Soviet neighbor.

The Western response has included financial and military aid to Kyiv — it received 2.5 billion euros ($2.57 billion) from the European Union on Tuesday, with $4.5 billion expected from the United States in the coming weeks — and a wave of sanctions against Russia.

The BBC reported that Britain will send three helicopters to Ukraine, the first manned aircraft it has sent since the war began. Ukraine will deploy them with Ukrainian crews trained in Britain, it said.

The West is also trying to cap the price of Russian energy exports, with the aim of reducing oil revenues that fund Moscow’s war machine while keeping oil flowing to global markets to prevent price spikes.

A senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Tuesday that the Group of Seven nations should announce price caps soon and could adjust the levels several times a year.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Oleksandr Kozhukhar and Maria Starkova in Kyiv, Ronald Popeski in Winnipeg and Lidia Kelley in Sydney; Written by Rosalba O’Brien and Lincoln Feast; Cynthia Osterman and Robert Berthe Edited by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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