Fog-shrouded Kyiv recovers after Russian strikes, power restored to 6 million

Kyiv: basic services are restored in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Saturday after the latest wave of Russian airstrikes on critical infrastructure, as residents navigated a fog-ridden city belted out for a festive season marked by uncertainty.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a quarter of Kyiv remained without heating but the metro system was back in service and all residents had been reconnected to water supplies early in the morning.
Only about a third of the city was left without power, he said, but emergency blackouts would still be implemented to save power. “Because the electricity deficit is significant,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukrainian officials said Russia fired more than 70 missiles on Friday in one of its heaviest barrages since the Kremlinthe February 24 invasion, forcing emergency power cuts across the country.
Ukraine has managed to restore power to nearly 6 million people in the past 24 hours, the president says Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.
“Repair work continues uninterrupted after yesterday’s terrorist attack. … Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done to stabilize the system,” he said.
“There are problems with the heat supply. There are big problems with the water supply,” Zelenskiy added, saying Kyiv as well as Vinnytsia and Lviv further west were experiencing the most difficulties.
Earlier this month, Kyiv Mayor Klitschko warned of a ‘doomsday’ scenario for the capital if Russian airstrikes on infrastructure continue, although he also said he people didn’t need to evacuate yet.
“We are fighting and doing everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen,” he told Reuters on December 7.
In a dark wintry haze on Saturday, authorities reopened a popular pedestrian bridge that had been damaged in a previous airstrike and erected a smaller-than-usual Christmas tree in a central plaza.
The vast space in front of the centuries-old St. Sophia Cathedral is traditionally anchored by towering evergreen foliage at Christmas. But this year, authorities opted for a 12-meter (40-foot) artificial tree adorned with energy-saving lamps powered by a generator.
Orthodox Christians make up the majority of Ukraine’s 43 million people.
Klitschko said the tree was funded by donors and corporations and no public celebration would take place.
“I doubt it’s a real holiday,” said Kyiv resident Iryna Soloychuk, who arrived with her daughter to see the tree just hours after another round of air raid warnings sounded in across the country.
“But we have to understand that we are all together, that we have to help each other.”


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