Ukraine update: Red Cross warns of ‘life-threatening winter’ as citizens urged to evacuate liberated regions

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Ukrainian authorities are urging civilians in newly liberated areas of Kherson and Mykolaiv to evacuate to safer regions in central and western Ukraine as winter settles in.

The World Health Organization is warning that millions of Ukrainians are facing a “life-threatening” winter following weeks of Russian air and drone strikes that destroyed critical infrastructure in Ukraine and has resulted in widespread power outages and water shortages, The Associated Press reported

“This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said on Monday. “Attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational, lacking fuel, water, and electricity.”

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that the government is offering residents transportation out of the affected regions, which remain under continued Russian shelling, as well as accommodations and medical care.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday doubled down on his calls for NATO members and allies to designate Russia as a terrorist state, calling its targeted strikes on energy facilities equivalent “to the use of a weapon of mass destruction.”

“The terrorist state needs to see that they do not stand a chance,” he told NATO’s 68th Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Madrid in a video address.

The New Voice of Ukraine news service reported on Monday that NATO accommodated the request, though the military alliance has not released a statement confirming this.

Zelenskyy also renewed his appeal for stricter sanctions against Russia and more air defense systems.

Aid worker killed in Russian strike

A humanitarian aid volunteer was killed, and two women were wounded, when Russian shelling struck an aid distribution center in Orihiv, a town in southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

Orihiv is located roughly 70 miles east of the site of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station where months-long shelling continues to raise the specter of a potentially catastrophic radiation leak.

“Russian terrorists are shelling humanitarian delivery points, continuing nuclear blackmail — a pitiful tactic of military losers,” Andriy Yermak, chief of the presidential staff, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Well, for every such action there is a Ukrainian counteraction,” he added.

The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency has for months called for the establishment of a demilitarization zone around the plant in a frantic effort to prevent a nuclear disaster. The Kremlin said on Tuesday, however, that little progress had been made toward that end. 

Ukraine’s security service raids Russian Orthodox monastery

Suspected Putin pro-war ally, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is calling a Tuesday morning raid on a historic Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv an “act of intimidation,” Reuters reported.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement that the raid was conducted as part of a special operation to counter what it called “subversive activities by Russian special services.”

“These measures are being taken … as part of the systemic work of the SBU to counter the destructive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine,” the agency said.

The 1,000-year-old Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex serves as the headquarters of the Kremlin-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which the SBU described as “the center of the Russian world” and the site of “sabotage and reconnaissance groups, foreign citizens, weapons storage.”

Two additional monasteries were also searched by the SBU, police, and Ukraine’s National Guard as well as Moscow’s Patriarchate’s diocese located in Western Ukraine. A senior clergyman from the Vinnytsia region was charged on Friday with attempting to distribute fliers justifying Russia’s war on Ukraine.