Original title: WHO says 3 million Ukrainians will relocate in winter, Kyiv mayor: We won’t go
On November 21, local time, World Health Organization (WHO) European Regional Director Hans Kruger issued a statement stating that the coming severe winter will threaten the lives of millions of people in Ukraine, and it is expected that as many as 3 million Ukrainians will die. Migrating “in search of warmth and safety”.
Kruger pointed out that Ukrainians who are forced to leave their families during the winter may face the threat of various diseases, including the new crown. Even those who stay at home will be forced to burn charcoal for heating, and they will also face health risks.
According to the European edition of Politico, the mayor of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, Vitaly Klitschko, said that about 1,000 shelters have been prepared, heated by stoves and generators, and the goal is not to see 300 shelters. None of the tens of thousands of residents fled Kyiv.
According to the WHO website, Kruger announced the statement at a press conference in Kyiv on the 21st. With a combination of a devastating energy crisis, growing mental health problems and the risk of viral infection, this winter could be a “life-threatening” one for “millions” of Ukrainians, he said. period.
“We expect 2 million to 3 million people to leave their homes to find warmth and safety. They will face unique health challenges, including coronavirus, respiratory infections such as pneumonia and influenza, and diphtheria and measles among the unvaccinated population. serious risk.”
Kruger said temperatures were expected to plummet to minus 20C in some parts of Ukraine, while about a quarter of Ukraine lacked power.
Krueger further noted that those who choose to stay at home may be forced to resort to “alternative heating methods,” but that things like “burning charcoal or wood, or using diesel generators or electric heaters” will also bring Health risks, which include “exposure to toxic substances harmful to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, as well as accidental burns or other injuries.”
In addition, Kruger also said that the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict has also caused serious damage to the mental health of Ukrainians, and about 10 million people are already “facing acute stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ) and other mental disorders”.
Finally, Kruger called on Russia and Ukraine to allow emergency humanitarian aid to enter Ukraine to meet the health needs of the local people.
According to the latest statistics from the United Nations Refugee Agency, since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict at the end of February this year, more than 7.8 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Europe, and about 4.7 million of them have been granted temporary protection or asylum in similar national protection programs within the EU .
At the same time, a considerable number of Ukrainian refugees have also gone to Russia, which currently has more than 2.8 million recorded refugees.
Also on the 21st, Politico reported that Kyiv Mayor Klitschko said in an interview that he was trying every means to keep “everyone” in the city.
“(Russia) wants Ukraine to be free of Ukrainians, they want to freeze us and destroy our electricity, heating and generators,” Klitschko said. Homeland, our city, we don’t want to leave.”
Klitschko said that in the worst case, Russia will launch an air strike against Ukraine’s power grid, which will cause Kyiv to lose its heating. “If we can’t provide water and electricity,” then “I will ask people to consider moving to the villages around Kyiv.” house, where they have access to water and heat”.
According to his plan, Kyiv has prepared about 1,000 shelters to help the city’s residents through the “worst period”. Most of these shelters are schools or former schools and are stocked with wood-burning stoves and generators for heating.
Klitschko also said that he does not want to see any of Kyiv’s more than 3 million residents fleeing the city. For this reason, Western countries need to support generators, sleeping bags, warm clothes and mattresses, as well as anti-aircraft weapons.
“That’s why we need to protect the skies above our citizens right now, and that’s why we need more air defense systems immediately.”
Asked if that would include the U.S. Patriot missile defense system, Klitschko said, “Yes, of course, we’ll be happy with that.”
According to a previous report by the Ukrainian National News Agency, on the afternoon of November 15, there were several explosions in Kiev. Klitschko said that some buildings in Kyiv were hit.
Tymoshenko, deputy director of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said that 15 energy facilities across Ukraine were damaged, the capital Kyiv, Vinnytsia Oblast, Volyn Oblast, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, Zhytomyr Oblast, and Lviv Oblast More than 7 million users in , Poltava, etc. were cut off.
In addition, Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmegal said on the same day that facilities such as high-voltage substations and thermal power plants in Ukraine were attacked, and almost all areas experienced power outages.