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Ukrainians likely to live with blackouts until end of March – Energy supplier – SABC News

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Ukrainians will likely live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy supplier said Monday, as the government began free evacuation of Kherson residents to other regions.

President Vladimir Zelensky said half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had been damaged by Russian attacks, leaving millions without electricity and water as winter approaches and temperatures drop below zero.

Siarhei Kavalenko, the head of the large private Kyiv energy supplier YASNO, said that the workers are in a hurry to complete the repairs before the onset of winter cold.

“I would like everyone to understand: Ukrainians will most likely live with the power outage until at least the end of March,” Kovalenko wrote on his Facebook page.

Power outages have been a daily occurrence in all regions of Ukraine, and grid operator Ukrenergo has said that new planned outages are planned for Tuesday.

Kovalenko added that on Monday, the network operator introduced new restrictions on the distribution of electricity, as a result of which more than 950,000 customers were disconnected.

The government offered people in the recently liberated city of Kherson, which remains largely without electricity and water, free evacuation to regions with better infrastructure, as well as free housing.

“Given the difficult security situation in the city and infrastructure problems, you can evacuate for the winter to safer regions of the country,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Verashchuk said in the Telegram program.

On Monday, Zelensky called on Ukrainians to save energy, saying that “we need to be careful and redistribute consumption during the day.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the power outages and Russia’s attacks on the energy infrastructure are the consequences of Kyiv’s unwillingness to negotiate, the state news agency TASS reported at the end of last week.

The temperature in some regions of Ukraine has already dropped below zero, including in the capital, Kyiv.

Kovalenko said that the country should be ready for all options, including long-term blackouts.

“Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think of options that will help you wait out the long shutdown,” Kavalenko said. “Better to do it now than to be miserable.”

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