Klitschko warns of “worst winter”

Mith thousands of public warming rooms, Ukraine, under attack from Russia, wants to get its population through a cold and dark winter. More than 4,000 such “stability points” in schools and administrative buildings have already been prepared across the country, the President said Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday. More should follow. “All basic services are provided there,” he said in a video address in Kyiv. “This includes electricity, mobile communication and the Internet, heat, water, first aid. Completely free and 24/7.”

The Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko underlined the seriousness of the situation in the Ukrainian capital, which has three million inhabitants: “This is the worst winter since the Second World War,” he told the “Bild” newspaper. Ukraine is struggling with power outages as a result of Russian rocket attacks on the electricity grid, and the attacks are also causing major problems with district heating, water and gas supplies. The European Parliament wants to vote on Wednesday on a resolution that will foreseeably designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism because of the attacks on civilian targets.

Klitschko: Kyiv must brace itself for the “worst scenario”.

“Should there be another massive Russian attack and the power supply cannot be restored within a few hours, the work of the ‘points of stability’ will be activated,” said Zelenskyy. Local authorities should provide information on where to find support in the event of a prolonged power outage. Companies are also asked to provide rooms and other aids.

The official name of the collection points on a government website also translates to “points of steadfastness.” Mothers with children should also be able to find refuge there. “I am sure that we will get through this winter together if we help each other,” said the head of state. For the city of millions Kyiv Mayor Klitschko said that one had to be prepared for the “worst scenario” of widespread power failures at low temperatures: “Then parts of the city would have to be evacuated, but we don’t want it to get that far.”

The Czech Republic has almost 27,000 professional soldiers and around 3,600 reservists. Most recently, the training had focused more on participation in peacekeeping and anti-terrorist operations abroad, such as in Mali.

Ukraine speaks of terror in the face of atrocities by Russian soldiers against civilians and attacks on civilian objects. That is why Kyiv is trying to have Russia condemned internationally as a state sponsor of terrorism. The parliaments of the Czech Republic, Estonia and other countries have already passed such resolutions. A similar vote is also in Eu Parliament in Strasbourg.

A classification of Russia as a terrorist state would have consequences, especially in the USA. But President Joe Biden’s administration is wary of putting Russia alongside countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea. The legal classification could be an obstacle if negotiations and a peace process were to take place.

The German Vice President of the EU Parliament, Nicola Beer, is expected to hold talks in Kyiv on Wednesday.

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