Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko warns of winter with no heat, water or power as Russia continues strikes

Residents in Kyiv wait for a bus while the city is under an electricity blackout.
Ukraine's capital Kyiv endured hourly rotating blackouts on Sunday. Credit: AP

The mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, is warning residents that they must prepare for the worst this winter, if Russia keeps striking the country's energy infrastructure.

“We are doing everything to avoid this. But let’s be frank, our enemies are doing everything for the city to be without heat, without electricity, without water supply, in general, so we all die," Mayor Vitali Klitschko told state media.

"And the future of the country and the future of each of us depends on how prepared we are for different situations."

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation that about 4.5 million people were without electricity.

He called on Ukrainians to endure the hardships and that “we must get through this winter and be even stronger in the spring than now".

Russia has focused on striking Ukraine's energy infrastructure over the last month, causing power shortages and rolling outages across the country.

Kyiv endured hourly rotating blackouts on Sunday in parts of the city and the surrounding region.

Rolling blackouts were also planned in the Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv and Poltava regions, Ukraine’s state-owned energy operator, Ukrenergo, said.

Ukraine's capital plans to deploy about 1,000 heating points, but it's unclear if that would be enough for a city of three million people.

As Moscow intensifies its attacks on the capital, Ukrainian forces are pushing forward in the south.

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Residents of Ukraine's Russian-occupied city of Kherson received warning messages on their phones, urging them to evacuate as soon as possible, according to Kyiv's military.

Meanwhile, Russian soldiers have warned civilians that Ukraine's army was preparing for a massive attack and told people to leave for the city's right bank immediately.

In September, Russia illegally annexed Kherson as well as three other regions and subsequently declared martial law in the four provinces.

The Kremlin-installed administration in Kherson has already moved tens of thousands of civilians out of the city.

Russia has been “occupying and evacuating” Kherson simultaneously, trying to convince Ukrainians that they're leaving when in fact they're digging in, Nataliya Humenyuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's Southern Forces, told state television.

Residents in Kyiv have been told to prepare for a shortage of key energy supplies this winter. Credit: AP

“There are defence units that have dug in there quite powerfully, a certain amount of equipment has been left, firing positions have been set up,” she said.

Russian forces are also digging in in a fiercely contested region in the east, worsening the already tough conditions for residents and the defending Ukrainian army. It follows Moscow's illegal annexation and declaration of martial law in the Donetsk province.

The attacks have almost completely destroyed the power plants which serve the city of Bakhmut and the nearby town of Soledar, said Pavlo Kyrylenko, the region's Ukrainian governor.

“The destruction is daily, if not hourly,” Mr Kyrylenko told state television.