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Power boss urges Ukrainians to leave the country – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Moving abroad for ‘another three or four months’ would help the energy system amid Russian attacks, says DTEK CEO Maksim Timchenko

Ukrainians should consider leaving the country to reduce the load on the damaged power grid, said Maksim Timchenko, the head of the largest private power company, DTEK Holding. He made the remarks in a BBC interview broadcast on Saturday.

“If they can find another place to stay for another three or four months, that will be very helpful to the system,” he added. Timchenko said.

He also urged his compatriots to consume less electricity, explaining that a surplus is needed for critical infrastructure and hospitals. Over the past few weeks, Ukraine’s energy system has been repeatedly targeted by the Russian military, causing power cuts and emergency blackouts.

“If you consume less, hospitals with wounded soldiers will have a guaranteed power supply. This is how we can explain that by consuming less or leaving, they also contribute to others,” said Timchenko.

The remarks were apparently considered too alarming for the general population. The Ministry of Energy intervened to assure the population that the electricity supply situation is still under control and that there is no need to flee the country.

“Denying the statements of panic spread by social networks and online media, we assure you that the energy supply situation is difficult, but under control”, the Department of Energy said in a statement.

DTEK also downplayed the CEO’s remarks. The company denied that Timchenko had called on people to leave the country, publishing a carefully cropped excerpt from his interview with the BBC to back up their claim.

“It’s not [an] urgency to leave immediately, but we have to organize ourselves, we are all fighters on the energy front”, Timchenko was quoted as saying in the excerpt published by DTEK.

The Russian military began targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in early October after a deadly truck attack damaged the Crimean Bridge. Moscow blamed the incident on kyiv and said it was just Ukraine’s latest attempt to damage civilian infrastructure in Russia.

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