Ukraine capital Kyiv could face winter of no heat, water as Russia attacks energy grid

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, could face a winter of no water, electricity or heat as Russia attacks the country’s energy grid, according to officials. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, issued the grim warning as the United States pushes Ukrainian leaders to negotiate with Russia. According to a report, allies could also be suffering possible “Ukraine fatigue.”

Klitschko stressed that officials were doing all they can to avoid much-needed necessities as freezing winter temperatures approach. “But let’s be frank, our enemies are doing everything for the city to be without heat, without electricity, without water supply, in general, so we all die,” said Klitschko. “And the future of the country and the future of each of us depends on how prepared we are for different situations.”

Russia has been hammering Ukraine’s energy infrastructure over the past few months, leading to rolling outages across the war-torn country and power shortages. Kyiv and other regions in the country have planned rotating blackouts on Sundays. 

Mayor Klitschko said Kyiv’s three million residents should be prepared to leave the city and stay with friends or family in the suburbs that still have water and power in the event of a “worst case” scenario, according to reports by the BBC. Klitschko also slammed Russia’s targeting of infrastructure as “genocide” and “terrorism.”

Roman Tkachuk, Kyiv’s Director of Security, backed up Klitschko’s statements about at least 1,000 heating shelters are being set up and officials were stockpiling food, water and fuel. However, Tkachuk insisted “there are no reason to talk about the evacuation at the moment,” according to the BBC.

U.S. is pushing Ukraine to talk with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eight-month-long war on Ukraine drags on and colder months approach, officials with the United States are privately suggesting to Ukraine that indicates openness to talk with Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree last month stating that speaking with Putin is “impossible,” but that he is still open to discussions. The ban on dealing with Putin has left countries in Africa, Latin America and other countries in Europe wary because of the rising prices of fuel and food from effects of the war. 

A spokesperson for the State Department said if Russia wants to negotiate, it needs to stop “its bombs and missiles and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.”

The spokesperson continued, “The Kremlin continues to escalate this war. The Kremlin has demonstrated its unwillingness to seriously engage in negotiations since even before it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

Zelensky said Ukraine is ready for a “fair and just peace,” according to the spokesperson. In the meantime, Russian forces moved tens of thousands of civilians out of Kherson, a city located in southern Ukraine as Russian forces prepare for an Ukrainian counteroffensive. In Kherson, residents received phone messages warning them to evacuate as soon as possible.