Zelensky: Winter will be ‘most difficult’ for Ukraine

Office of the President of Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is shown in a June 8, 2022, photo provided by his office.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Tuesday that the upcoming winter season will be “the most difficult” in Ukraine’s history as an independent nation, adding that the country will not be selling gas and coal internationally to save the resources for its citizens.

During a virtual address to the nation, Zelensky said he and other government officials are preparing plans for the winter season.

“In the current situation due to Russia’s aggression, this will indeed be the most difficult winter of all the years of independence,” he said in the translated address. “But! Everything is alright. We must go through it so that our people feel the normal work of the state.”

He added that the officials, including Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, also discussed “issues of purchasing a sufficient amount of gas for the heating season, coal accumulation, and electricity production,” later noting that the country will not be selling the resources abroad.

“All domestic production will be directed to the internal needs of our citizens,” Zelensky said.

He added that Ukraine is exploring ways to increase electricity export capabilities.

“And after the historical accession of our country to the unified energy network of Europe, such exports not only allow us to increase our foreign exchange earnings, but also directly influence the stabilization of the energy situation in neighboring countries, which reduce Russian energy consumption,” he said.

He also noted that any thermal power plants, as well as combined heat and power plants and boiler houses, that were destroyed by Russian strikes will be repaired through Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy.

Zelensky emphasized that the government will try to ensure that gas and electricity tariffs don’t change in the heating season.

“People already face enough difficulties because of the war,” he added.

In the address, Zelensky also discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, noting the “absolutely heroic defense” of Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine.

While it appeared that Ukrainian troops may be forced to pull back from the region, Zelensky told Ukrainians that the defense is still holding strong.

“It is felt, absolutely felt, that the occupiers did not believe that the resistance of our military would be so strong, and now they are trying to attract additional resources in the Donbas direction,” he said.

Tags russia Russia-Ukraine war ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky
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