Vitali Klitschko appeals to the West to send blankets to Ukraine

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko appeals to the West to send blankets to Ukraine before winter with capital’s grid operating in ‘emergency mode’ after Russian strikes on power stations

  • Vitali Klitschko, 51, said country were left desperate due to power plant attacks
  • Said the winter will be huge challenge and pleaded for blankets and generators 
  • Ukraine has damage to 40 per cent of energy infrastructure due to blasts 

The mayor of Kyiv has pleaded with the West to send blankets and generators to Ukraine to get them through the winter.

Vital Klitschko, 51, said that his country has been left desperate due to numerous attack on power plants and the capital’s grid is operating in ’emergency mode.’ 

Although Mr Klitschko has bought some generators and has got 1,000 mobile heating points in Kyiv, organised with the help of his team, fears are still growing as the weather gets colder and Russian continues to attack key infrastructure.

He said yesterday on Telegram: ‘Due to a significant shortage of electricity, from 20% to 50%, – the city’s energy supply system is operating in emergency mode.

In the same post, Klitschko confirmed reports from the regional governor and Ukrenergo, the state energy company, that Kyiv and the surrounding region will see rolling blackouts in the coming days.

Klitschko expressed hope that Ukrenergo employees would restore the flow of electricity to its usual level ‘in two to three weeks, barring circumstances beyond their control.’

Vital Klitschko, 51, pictured, said that his country have been left desperate due to numerous attacks on power plants

Speaking to the Telegraph , he banged his fists on the table and said: ‘We are doing everything we can do to save the lives of our people and to protect them. ‘But this winter will definitely be a huge challenge for us’

Ukraine has been struggling with outages and worrying about the system surviving the winter due to Russian attacks on power stations and the wider grid over the last two weeks. 

It has left 40 per cent of energy infrastructure in Ukraine seriously damaged.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Klitshcko banged his fists on the table and said: ‘We are doing everything we can do to save the lives of our people and to protect them.

‘But this winter will definitely be a huge challenge for us.’

Without blankets, he said, people in the country would freeze to death. 

Vitali had also announced on Ukrainian television that new air defense equipment had arrived in the capital, and expressed hope that it would help protect its energy infrastructure after weeks of targeted Russian airstrikes.

He said: ‘The military have assured me (during a recent meeting) that new air defense equipment has arrived in the capital and our sky will be safer,’ 

‘We hope that there will be no more attacks and provocations with kamikaze drones and missiles,’ Klitschko added, in a reference to Iranian-made Shahed exploding drones spotted repeatedly over Ukrainian cities. 

Residents in Kyiv were told that due to the strikes, there would be a ‘sharp deterioration’ in the region’s electricity supplies. Pictured: A power outage

Electricity is currently one of the only methods that Ukrainians have to heat their homes, as many are living in war-ravaged buildings that do not have gas and windows. Pictured: A power outage in Ukraine

The strikes on power stations and the wider grid are a change in tactics which Mr Klitschko says has occurred due to the Russian president’s need to claim a minor victory in his war.

The newest commander of the Kremlin’s invasion, General Sergei Surovikin, had coordinated the drone and missile attacks. 

Residents in Kyiv were told that due to the strikes, there would be a ‘sharp deterioration’ in the region’s electricity supplies.  

Natalia Zemko, 81, ( left) talks with her daughter Lesya Zemko as she makes tea in their kitchen during a power outage in the city centre on October 22 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Lesya Zemko lights a candle from her gas stove in her apartment during a power outage in the city centre

Electricity is currently one of the only methods that Ukrainians have to heat their homes, as many are living in war-ravaged buildings that do not have gas and windows.

And it has become apparent that the freezing weather is turning into a new weapon for Putin, in the hope that residents will be so cold they will obey him.

It comes as temperatures are expected to sink to as low as -20C in some areas of Ukraine in the coming days. 

Mr Klitschko said that he is grateful for the support of Western countries but added that aid that has been given has been too slow to come.

He made the remarks after receiving a fire engine and two ambulances from a German charitable foundation. 

He also pleaded for blankets, winter clothes and generators as well as heavy weaponry and air-defence systems.

KYIV, UKRAINE – OCTOBER 22: Kyiv residents walk by a bakery that was forced to close during a power outage in the city centre

Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities, damaged by Russian drone strikes

Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities, damaged by Russian drone strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues

The Kyiv mayor said that the clothing and blankets are essential for Ukrainians as the winter comes. 

He made the move into politics after being a heavyweight boxing star for more than a decade. 

Along with brother Wladimir, he is a popular personality in Ukraine. And he has been asking for support for the whole of Ukraine with Wladimir’s help. 

Vitali was on a list of targets for Russian assassins when the war first began to rumble in Ukraine.

But he is unconcerned about the threat and has continued to lobby for support and travel the world in order to get weaponry for his country. 

He said that the country will never have enough weapons deliveries and added that enough is enough when the war is over. 

Vitali said that he was sad to say that if it was possible, then Ukrainians should stay away from the country over the winter, as there is a risk of a humanitarian issue. 

He spoke of the violence against civilians in other suburbs of Ukraine and said that he believes Putin’s lack of success in the Donbas has led him to target citizens head on. 

Describing Putin as a liar, he said that the so-called war is actually genocide. 

Vitali has won huge popularity for staying in Ukraine.

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