Ukraine to set up ‘invincibility’ shelters as cold, snow set in

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Russian air attacks have destroyed much of Ukraine’s power infrastructure, leaving people unable to light or heat their homes.

Ukraine’s government has promised to set up shelters to provide heat and water after relentless Russian air attacks that have left its power structure in tatters as temperatures drop and snow falls.

Special “invincibility centers” will be set up around the country to provide citizens with electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone connections and a pharmacy, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday. The centers will be free of charge and operate 24 hours a day.

Russian attacks have led to prolonged power cuts for as many as 10 million residents at a time. Ukraine has urged people to conserve energy, and the national power grid operator said on Tuesday that the damage had been colossal.

“If massive Russian strikes happen again and its clear power will not be restored for hours, the ‘invincibility centers’ will go into action with all key services,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this week that some 8,500 power generator sets were being imported into Ukraine every day.

Much of Ukraine saw its first snow of the winter over the past week.

Authorities have warned of power cuts that could affect millions of people until the end of March – the latest fallout from Russia’s nine-month invasion that has already killed tens of thousands, uprooted millions and pummelled the global economy.

Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities follow a series of battlefield setbacks that have included a retreat of its forces from the southern city of Kherson.

A week after being retaken by Ukrainian forces, residents in Kherson were tearing down Russian propaganda billboards and replacing them with pro-Ukrainian signs.

“The moment our soldiers entered, these posters were printed and handed over to us. We found workers to install the posters, and we clean up the advertisement as quickly as possible,” said Antonina Dobrozhenska, who works at the government’s communications department.

Agencies

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