Heating season in Ukraine. Truth, fakes, practical advice
Information is no less dangerous weapon of Russia against Ukraine than "grads" and cruise missiles. To sow pessimism and panic among the masses, propagandists resort to manipulations and fakes about the difficult heating season in Ukraine. The Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council investigated how reliable the information disseminated in the enemy media is.
What talking points are being circulated to create pessimism
1. The country may be left without electricity due to the deterioration of the power system, and the GTS will stop due to lack of service;
2. The Donetsk region is rented out without budgeting money for heating, and some regions are being prepared for evacuation due to the negligence of those in power, which led to a lack of heating;
At the same time, propagandists insist on the need to strike critical infrastructure. In their opinion, if Ukraine is left without electricity, water, logistics, bridges and other amenities, this will force him to capitulate.
Most Ukrainian experts believe that the upcoming heating season will not be easy due to hostilities and the destruction of critical infrastructure. The main problem is the possible attacks of the enemy on the power that generates heat. The most difficult situation is in the cities, the infrastructure of which was significantly damaged during the shelling. Thus, thermal power plants, which heat the vast majority of residential facilities in Sumy, Chernihiv, Kremenchug and Akhtyrka, have been hit hard by attacks from Russia.
Therefore, the amount of gas is not the main risk factor for the heating season. And the main danger is the destroyed infrastructure facilities that generate heat. Because of this, it is impossible to supply heat to the front-line regions, so the authorities are calling on the civilian population to evacuate.
The issue of fullness of gas storages also remains important. In order to preserve its own heating resources, the government banned the export of coal, fuel oil and gas of Ukrainian origin. Currently, the country is experiencing a decline in gas consumption due to the outflow of the population and the reduction of industry. Gas production also declined as the occupiers took control of some fields. Consumption has decreased by 40% since February 24. It follows that there should be enough natural gas for the heating season 2022-2023.
According to the government, there are already about 11.3 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukrainian storage facilities. By the beginning of the season, reserves should be 19 billion cubic meters. So, to date, a large part of the required volume has already been accumulated. Gas imports continue. Also, the reserves are replenished with 1 billion cubic meters of blue fuel of own production.
According to the government, the country is 60% ready for winter. Residential buildings - by 56%, networks - by 57%, heat supply facilities - by 58%.
As a result of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, 327 objects in the heating sector were damaged. In particular, 156 boiler houses located in relatively safe areas have already been restored.
Local and central governments are working to introduce new sources of heating without raising prices. Solid fuel boilers are installed in gas boilers, designed for firewood, coal and other types of fuel available in a particular region. According to the Ministry of Energy, the population will not be left without electricity thanks to the capacities of nuclear energy. A budget has been allocated from the reserve fund for gas and solid fuel mobile boilers, a diesel generator, other necessary equipment and diesel fuel.
It is planned to increase tariffs for gas, heat and hot water supply to the population. Industrial enterprises will buy gas at the market price.
Heat supply systems and residential facilities have been destroyed in the front-line territories. With homes unable to be repaired and supply systems damaged, life-saving heat cannot be provided. There are two options for solving this problem: temporary evacuation of the population to safe areas and the creation of heating centers with mobile boilers.
The transition of apartment buildings to potbelly stoves or heating with electrical appliances will not only not help, but will also create a danger. Outdated wiring may not withstand the load. As a result, fires are possible.
As the Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council previously reported, since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 6% of the area of the housing stock has been lost. 8% of the population was left homeless. Some evacuated to safer places, but there are also those who did not leave the damaged houses. When the air temperature starts to drop, such buildings will no longer be habitable.
Ukrainians should be prepared to reduce the temperature in their homes with central heating and difficulties with hot water supply. Saving electricity will allow the system as a whole to work stably.
The risk of attacks on critical infrastructure by the Russian Federation does not disappear anywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare psychologically and financially for a sudden shutdown of heat supply. Responsible government agencies should stockpile repair equipment and materials for emergencies.
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Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
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