Ukraine Urges Escaped Citizens Not to Return Yet

Ukrainian authorities have expressed concern about the country's power grid for the winter.

Ukrainian authorities have expressed concern about the country’s power grid for the winter.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, numerous Ukrainian citizens have fled the country as refugees. As the Ukrainian military has pushed back against Russia, some parts of the country have been successfully reclaimed. However, the Ukrainian government is urging those who left the country to hold off on returning home, at least until after the winter season.

Due to sustained attacks from Russian artillery, the Ukrainian power grid is in bad shape, with more than a third of the grid’s systems estimated to be damaged or destroyed. This has result in recurring power outages throughout the country that will likely lead to an exceptionally difficult winter. Authorities are concerned that if the refugees return, it’ll place an even greater strain on the already-struggling grid.

“We need to survive this winter. (If people come back) the electrical grid might fail,” Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said in a video message.

“You see what Russia is doing. Everybody sees that,” Vereshchuk said. “Coming back now means exposing yourself, your children, vulnerable relatives to this.”

Once the winter season has passed, Vereshchuk said it should be okay for the refugees to return, especially since they will likely need the manpower to rebuild. “In spring, I would really like for us to work together to rebuild our Kharkiv region, Kherson region and the rest of our cities and settlements here in Ukraine,” she said.

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