Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia Region, told Ukrainian media outlets on Sunday, Oct. 23 that the city was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe“ amid ongoing fierce Russian strikes.
Orlov also addressed the current general humanitarian situation in the city.
“Enerhodar is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe because constant enemy shelling destroys civilian infrastructure and power grids,” he said. “The city remains without electricity and without water supply.
“Gas has not been available in most parts of the city for almost six months,” he noted.
The mayor added that the city has “a centralized heating system that has not been working since spring,” emphasizing that the system relies on the nearby nuclear power plant, “several units of which are in cold shutdown mode, and several units are under repair.”
“There are currently no prospects for starting a heating season, the city is in danger of not starting the heating season at all,” he stressed.
Enerhodar, a city in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Region, is home to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has been under Russian occupation for months. It has seen intense fighting and bombardment, particularly in the first few months of Putin’s illegal invasion.
Ukrainian officials announced on Mar. 1 that Russian troops had surrounded the city, with Mayor Orlov reporting that residents were experiencing difficulties obtaining food and other essential supplies.
The following day, protestors blocked roads into Enerhodar in an attempt to prevent Russian forces from entering. However, by the evening of Mar. 2, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced that Russian authorities were in control of territory around the nuclear power plant.
On the night of Mar. 3, a column of 10 Russian armoured vehicles and two tanks approached the power plant, capturing it after two hours of heavy fighting.
Since then, Enerhodar and Zaporizhzhia have experienced relentless Russian strikes, damaging local infrastructure and placing the nuclear power plant under grave risk. Many Ukrainian children have also been taken by Russian troops from Enerhodar to Russia.
“Some parents who, despite the full-scale war, recently sent their children from Enerhodar and the surrounding villages to Russia’s Krasnodar region, have already started receiving alarming signals,” Orlov wrote in a post on Telegram on Sunday, Oct. 23.
“The occupiers confronted them with the fact that the children would ‘remain in Russia for an indefinite period,’ also telling parents to send in warmer clothes, and ‘reassuring’ them that the children would be able to go to school there.”