Zelensky vows to provide ‘invincibility centres’ for Ukrainians

Rishi Sunak meets Zelensky during first visit to Ukraine

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Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to provide “invincibility centres” for Ukrainians as the ex-Soviet state braces for a harsh winter amid relentless Russian strikes. The Ukrainian President revealed his compatriots would be provided with such support during a nightly video address on Tuesday.

He also claimed the facilities would provide electricity, heat, water, internet, mobile phone connections and a pharmacy, free of charge.

Mr Zelensky said: “If massive Russian strikes happen again and it’s clear power will not be restored for hours, the ‘invincibility centres’ will go into action with all key services.”

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also claimed that 8,500 power generator sets are being imported into the nation daily.

Vladimir Putin’s troops in Ukraine have targeted power supplies and even impacted up to 10 million consumers at a time.

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Kyiv’s energy chief warned Moscow’s onslaught has had a “colossal” impact.

Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, chief executive officer of Ukrenergo, also told a briefing that Ukrainians could face long power outages.

Sergey Kovalenko, head of YASNO, also warned that workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives.

He said: “I would like everyone to understand: Ukrainians will most likely live with blackouts until at least the end of March.”

Mr Kovalenko added: “The basic scenario is that if there are no new attacks on the power grid, then under current conditions of electricity generation, the power deficit could be evenly distributed across the country.

“This means the outages will be everywhere but less lasting.

“There are also different forecasts of the development of this situation, and they completely depend on attacks Russia.”

However, Russia has suffered several setbacks in recent weeks as they continue with its invasion of Ukraine.

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According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), Russian troops could be left vulnerable by a reported Ukrainian attack at an oil terminal in Novorossiysk.

In an intelligence update, the MoD said: “Russian commanders will likely be concerned about threats to the Novorossiysk-based amphibious landing ship flotilla.

“These vessels are relatively vulnerable without escorts and have assumed a more important role in supplying Russian forces in Ukraine since the Kerch Bridge was damaged in October.”

The update added: “It would also further undermine Russia’s already reduced maritime influence in the Black Sea.”

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