Ukrainian authorities are evacuating civilians from recently liberated sections of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, fearing that a lack of heat, power and water due to Russian shelling will make conditions unlivable this winter. The move comes as rolling blackouts plagued most of the country today.
Authorities urge residents of the two southern regions, which Russian forces have been shelling for months, to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says. The government will provide transportation, accommodations and medical care, she adds.
The evacuations are taking place more than a week after Ukraine recaptured the city of Kherson, on the western bank of the Dnieper River, and surrounding areas in a major battlefield gain.
Since then, heading into the winter, residents and authorities alike are realizing just how much power and other infrastructure the Russians destroyed before retreating or damaged just in the last week.
Ukraine is known for its brutal winter weather, and snow has already covered Kyiv, the capital, and other parts of the country.