Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on local authorities, including in the capital Kyiv, to do more to build on his government’s much-touted “invincibility points.” connections and hot water.
The government announced plans last week to provide emergency aid to citizens left without electricity and heating, just days before the latest round of Russian airstrikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure led to further significant disruption.
But in his Friday night speech, Zelensky criticized the program’s rollout, especially in the capital, saying only the points at the train station and state emergency services were working properly.
“Other points still need improvement, to say the least,” he added. “Kiev residents need more protection.”
A visit to the “invincibility points”: DailyExpertNews teams visited three of the government-advertised information centers in the Ukrainian capital. Two of them, both SES-run facilities, were functioning, while a third at a school was not.
At one location, in the Obolonskyi neighborhood in the north of the city, DailyExpertNews spoke to Tetiana, who said her apartment had been without power and heating for more than 50 hours. She had also had no cell phone service during that time.
“We saw this (‘Invincibility) Point’ on the map and decided to try it,” she said.
Seated at a simple desk along one side of the 30-square-foot tent, the sides of which were padded for warmth, she told us she was glad to get back online. Her employer makes souvenirs and the approaching holidays are always a busy time, she said. “The internet is great here; I can do my job,” she said.
Another resident, Larysa, was also impressed with the Wi-Fi available at the same location as it allowed her to reconnect with social media.
“The internet is fast; I’m finally on TikTok,” she laughed and added, “I’m looking for a job because I’m from Lviv. I recently moved to Kiev.”
A resident named Oleksiy told DailyExpertNews that he had also been without power at home for more than two days and also used the internet to look for work.
“I have a wife and two children at home, 5 months old and 9 years old. I won’t be bringing my kids here because it’s a long walk, but I will definitely come here again,” he said.
Those interviewed for this post declined to provide their last names to DailyExpertNews.