Ukraine’s government will pay for all costs related to voluntary evacuations from areas of the southern Kherson and Mykolaiv regions that have been liberated from Russian forces, according to a Ukrainian official.
There are several issues in the liberated areas as winter approaches, according to Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk, who spoke at a briefing with Ukrainian media Saturday in Mykolaiv. A large amount of territory in southern Ukraine suffered extensive damage to infrastructure after Ukrainian forces took it back, making it hard for the local residents to survive without electricity, heat and water supply.
“It is about preparing for winter. The temperatures are dropping as we speak; we understand we won’t be able to repair the damage done to the infrastructure in time,” she said.
“It is only voluntary evacuation; we are not talking about mandatory evacuations at the moment. And voluntary evacuations means that the state assumes all costs and responsibilities associated with transportation, people needing to be taken to the areas where they are going to spend the winter, also accommodations and living expenses and also medical assistance. If people have kids, we need to make sure we provide all the necessary care for the kids,” Vereshchuk said.
She said residents of Kherson will be able to evacuate through Mykolaiv.
Vitalii Kim, head of the regional military administration in Mykolaiv, said that lists of those willing to evacuate are being drawn up in the liberated settlements of his region.
“A transit point has been created in Mykolaiv where people can stay for a week before departure. From there, they are sent to different regions of Ukraine, where places to stay have been prepared for them,” Kim said.