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Russia-Ukraine war live: blackouts likely across Ukraine until March, energy provider says

Blackouts could last longer, depending on future Russian attacks

  • Russia-Ukraine war at a glance

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the lates for the next while.

Ukrainians are most likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said late on Monday.

Sergey Kovalenko, head of the YASNO major private energy provider for Kyiv, said that workers are rushing to complete repairs before the winter cold arrives.

“I would like everyone to understand: Ukrainians will most likely live with blackouts until at least the end of March,” Kovalenko said in a post on his Facebook page.

Ukraine is to evacuate civilians from recently liberated areas of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. Residents of the two southern regions have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country, amid fears that the damage to infrastructure caused by the war is too severe for people to endure the winter.

The Kremlin said it was concerned by what it claimed to be Ukrainian shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister, countered that the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia plant was a Russian tactic aiming to disrupt power supplies and “freeze Ukrainians to death”. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, appealed to Nato members to guarantee the protection of his country’s nuclear power plants from “Russian sabotage”.

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The UN nuclear watchdog was to conduct an assessment of the Zaporizhzhia plant on Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the forces behind its shelling were “playing with fire” and such attacks risked a major disaster.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Ukraine’s health system is “facing its darkest days in the war so far”. WHO regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, called for a “humanitarian health corridor” to be created to all areas of Ukraine newly recaptured by Kyiv, as well as those occupied by Russian forces.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general office has said its officials have identified four locations where Russian forces tortured detainees in Kherson city. It said Russian forces “set up pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in pre-trial detention centres and a police station before troops withdrew from the southern Ukrainian city.

Russian troops have been accused of burning bodies at a landfill on the edge of Kherson during their occupation. Residents and workers at the site told the VFAB they saw Russian open trucks arriving to the site carrying black bags that were then set on fire, filling the air with a large cloud of smoke and a stench of burning flesh.

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