Kyiv mayor briefs public on Kyiv’s defenses and energy security

15 August, 12:42 PM
Vitali Klitschko (Photo:kyiv.klichko.org)

Vitali Klitschko (Photo:kyiv.klichko.org)

The coming winter season will be a challenging one for Kyiv residents, while conquering the capital remains a priority Russian war aim, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said during an interview with Ukrainian media outlet Babel on Aug. 15.

“Kyiv was and remains a major target for the (Russian) invaders,” said Klitschko.

“Not just Mariupol, Donetsk, Luhansk, or Bakhmut; Kyiv is the very heart of the state, and therefore seizing it remains a major (Russian) aim. Could they come and take the city now? I’m certain they can’t. We’re prepared much better now, and have much more resources than we did, say, six months ago. You can see how effective our air defenses have become.”

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The mayor added that he constantly raises the importance of establishing “an iron dome over the capital” in meetings with Ukraine’s international partners.

While municipal officials are doing everything they can to prepare for winter, Klitschko suggested that city residents should “get their winter clothes ready,” as energy supplies could become a bottleneck for the central heating system.

“We’re doing everything we can and beyond to ensure homes will be warm,” Klitschko said.

“However, I’m asking people to get warm clothes and blankets ready, since it’s possible that indoors temperatures could be several degrees below the norm. We usually target 21 degrees (Celsius), and this time it could be 19 or 18 degrees. There could also be some power supply blips.”

He added that in case of power shortages, the city would be able to sustain itself for a short while using backup power generators.

“We’d be able to function autonomously, for a time; but not for long – only while we resolve the problem,” the mayor said.

Finally, Klitschko responded to public grumbling about mass transit in Kyiv stopping during air raid alerts.

The decision to halt public transport during air raid alerts was made on recommendations from Ukraine’s military and emergency service officials, according to the mayor. Ideally, bomb shelters would be built at every bus or tram stop, but municipal finances can’t handle such a sprawling project right now, said Klitschko.

Kyiv officials announced on Aug. 1 that public transit in the city would now pause during air raid alerts.

Kyiv still sees sporadic air raid alerts, but there has not been a missile strike on the capital for several weeks.

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