Day 257: Kyiv prepares for worst-case scenarios, makes plans for total blackout, complete evacuation of residents

Winter in Kyiv, “total evacuation of three million residents” – key things to know

Municipal authorities of Kyiv, speaking to the residents, are frank about the risks of the upcoming winter. Yet they try to prepare the city to face them, Kyiv’s Mayor Vitaliy Klychko said in recent interviews and a statement released in the past week.

Answering a question if a total blackout was possible, Klychko said: “We are doing everything to avoid it. But let’s be honest: our enemies do everything for the city to be without heat, power, and water supply, so that we all die.”

The Kyiv city administration has a plan in the event of a complete blackout. “In a situation of war, we have to make plans for different scenarios and emergency response, and be ready to act on them. As we brace for winter, we purchased and received as donations from foreign partners generators and fan heaters. We prepare heating points and supply the critical infrastructure sites. We are doing everything possible to keep the city running under the difficult circumstances,” Klychko said. 

Answering a question on a possible complete evacuation of Kyiv residents, Kyiv’s mayor said: “I appeal to the people. In a worst case scenario where the city loses power and water, you have to make arrangements. If you have extended family or friends outside Kyiv, where there is autonomous water supply, an oven, heating please make arrangements to be able to stay there for a certain amount of time.” He also called on Kyivites to stock up on drinking and non-potable water, food, charged powerbanks, and warm clothes. Around three million people constantly stay in Kyiv, Klychko said. These are the residents who sleep in the capital by night, more people come from the suburbs and stay in the city by day, the mayor said.

“The enemy is insidious and cynical. Russia commits a genocide by trying to collapse Ukraine’s power grid. Utility workers and staff at the energy facilities quickly fix the damage to the networks so that the consumers have access to critical services. We have to be ready for different scenarios, hoping that the worst won’t happen,” Klychko said. 

Rolling outages in Kyiv to be possibly removed in two weeks if Russia makes no attacks on energy infrastructure, executive director of DTEK Dmytro Sakharuk said.  

Rotating outages will continue until the power lines and energy facilities are restored to supply power from other regions to Kyiv, or until generating capacities are added, he said.

“If there are no further attacks and damages, it can all be repaired soon,” Sakharuk said, adding that repairs will take around two weeks. 

Russia possibly masses forces for new attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, President Zelenskyi earlier said.

As of November 1, Russian strikes left around 40 per cent of Ukraine’s entire energy infrastructure damaged, he added. Following the attacks, rolling blackouts were enacted mostly in Kyiv and neighboring regions. 

NASAMS and Aspide air defense systems arrive in Ukraine, Ukraine Defense Minister says.

“These weapons will significantly strengthen Ukraine’s army and will make our skies safer,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a tweet on Monday. “We will continue to shoot down the enemy targets attacking us. Thank you to our partners: Norway, Spain and the US,” he added.

The U.S. first announced it would send two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine on July 1 in a Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package of military assistance worth USD 820 million. On August 24, it said it would send six more and additional munitions for NASAMS as part of a security assistance package worth USD three billion. 

On October 25, U.S.-based Raytheon Technologies said it had delivered two Ukraine-bound NASAMS air defense systems to the US government. They are expected to be sent to Ukraine.

Podcast Explaining Ukraine. Russia’s grain blackmail failed. – Weekly, 30 Oct – 6 Nov

Russia’s grain blackmail has failed, as Moscow showed it was incapable of blocking Ukrainian food exports. The next big battle will be over Kherson, with the Russians preparing to defend the occupied city. Ukraine is still suffering from massive blackouts. Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klychko says the city is making contingency plans to evacuate 3 mln people from Kyiv in case of a total blackout in the winter. Learn more from the weekly digest of our Explaining Ukraine podcast. Hosts: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher and journalist, chief editor of, and Tetyana Ogarkova, Ukrainian scholar and journalist, in charge of international outreach at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre.

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