Ukrainians who have fled the country amid Russia’s military offensive should not return home before spring, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Tuesday. Staying away would protect them from unnecessary risk and help the country “survive” its deepening energy crisis, she added.
Speaking on national TV on Tuesday, Vereshchuk claimed Russia was losing on the battlefield and had therefore turned to “terrorizing the civilian population” by targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
“I will ask you not to return, we need to survive the winter. Unfortunately, the power grids will not survive, you see what Russia is doing. You don’t need to do this. If you have the opportunity to stay, it’s better to spend the winter abroad,” Vereshchuk said.
She said she would like to see everyone return in the spring to rebuild Ukrainian cities and villages together.