Ukraine is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster this winter after weeks of intensive Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure.
Up to ten million citizens live without electricity, while it has already started snowing in several areas and temperatures have dropped to -10°C in some regions.
The European Parliament, together with Eurocities, a network of major European cities, has proposed donating electricity producers to help Ukraine cope this winter.
A new initiative will provide these generators “within a few days” to help specific areas that are currently facing a very difficult winter as a result of the attacks, without electricity, heating or drinking water.
“We want to turn our words into facts (…) Ukrainians are facing a real energy emergency,” said Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, at a press conference.
“This Parliament has shown remarkable humanitarian, military and financial solidarity with Ukraine. Now they need practical support to get through the winter,” she added.
Metsola added that generators would restore basic services to homes, hospitals, and schools. Basic services such as clean water could also be resumed.
“The risk of a total power outage is very high”
The chief of staff of the Ukrainian president’s office, Andriy Yermak, who attended the online press conference, said that “the rate of destruction exceeds the rate of repair.”
Visibly concerned about one of the “harshest winters in the country’s modern history” and said that “the risk of a total power outage is very high.”
The number of generators to be sent to Ukraine was not specified during the press conference.
Eurocities President Dario Nardella said the 200 cities represented by the network will each send more than one generator, which together will result in a “large number” of generators.
As soon as one of the European cities expresses an interest in participating, the proceedings will be initiated.
Metsola said they are working with the European Commission on a possible activation of the civil protection mechanism. The generator is then transported to a European operations center and sent from there to Ukraine.
The EU has already provided 500 generators through the same mechanism and a further 300 have been financed by humanitarian aid.
For the Ukrainian government, the priority is to restore the power grid in the country for which it has asked Europe for help.