Officials in Kyiv say they have begun planning for a once-unthinkable possibility: a complete blackout that would require the evacuation of the nation’s capital!
What does this mean practically?
That 3 million inhabitants will have to leave the city in the middle of winter, which is a dramatic turn of the war, while 1,000 heated shelters are already being prepared.
According to the American newspaper New York Times, which publishes the information, Kiev authorities have begun planning to evacuate the city’s 3 million residents if the Ukrainian capital suffers a total blackout, as they struggle to maintain an electricity grid that has suffered severe damage from Russian missiles.
A complete blackout that would require the evacuation of the capital of 3 million was once an unthinkable possibility.
The situation as revealed by the New York Times is already dire with 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure damaged or destroyed.
As winter approaches, the city is preparing 1,000 heated shelters that can also protect civilians from Russian missiles.
The unthinkable is possible
“We understand that if Russia continues such attacks, we may lose our entire electrical system ,” Roman Tkachuk, security director of Kyiv’s municipal government, said in an interview, speaking for the city.
Officials in the capital have been told they are likely to have at least 12 hours notice that the network was on the verge of failure.
If it gets to that point, Mr. Tkachuk said, “we will start informing people and asking them to leave.”
In turn, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said last week that due to the overloading of Ukraine’s energy system, 450,000 citizens’ apartments have been left without electricity.
This, according to the mayor, is one and a half times more than the previous days.
Earlier, Sputnik radio reported that Kyiv authorities admitted the possibility of a lack of heating in homes in winter.
With shelters, pills, instruction booklets, citizens prepare for a nuclear strike
The Serhiy Pritula Charitable Foundation in downtown Kyiv has a shelter in the garage under the building to protect its staff from conventional Russian attacks, and another in the event of a nuclear strike.
“The second shelter is properly equipped. It has medicine, food, drink and bottled water, flashlights and batteries ,” explained Serhii Pritula himself, television star and head of the foundation, to Politico.
“Predicting the movements of the Russian military and political leadership is always a difficult task if you use common sense. We became very unlucky with our neighbors. This is why we should take every nuclear threat very seriously and prepare accordingly,” he notes.
Moscow’s rhetoric is indeed worrying.
Earlier this month, Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, warned that Kiev’s goal of recapturing all of its lost territory was a “threat to the existence of our state and a mutilation of today’s Russia,” which in his words is a “clear reason” for Russia’s use of nuclear deterrence.
Kiev’s reaction to Medvedev’s statements was immediate.
Oleksii Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, called the nuclear threats a “suicidal act” saying “Russia will eventually turn into the No. 1 enemy of the entire planet.”
Even its ally China has warned Russia of the danger of using nuclear weapons. Last week, President Xi Jinping declared that “Nuclear weapons cannot be used, nuclear war cannot be fought.”
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