Ukrainians who fled abroad because of the war should not return home this winter, Ukrainian Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk said in a telethon.

“You see: Russia has switched to terrorise civilians, it cannot fight the army, it is losing on the battlefield,” RBC-Ukraine quoted her as saying. – I will ask you not to come back, we need to survive the winter. Unfortunately, the nets will not hold out, you see what Russia is doing… There is no need to do this. If there is a possibility – please stay during winter abroad”.

The Russian Defence Ministry has carried out massive missile strikes on Ukrainian cities since October, 10. The agency claimed that it only attacked military and energy infrastructure facilities, but the missiles also hit civilian objects. The Kremlin called the missile strikes a response to the explosion on the Crimean bridge in the Kerch Strait, which the Russian authorities claim was staged by Ukrainian special services. The Russian strikes affected 30-40 per cent of Ukraine’s power plants, Kyiv said.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, as of mid-September, more than 12.6 million people left the country since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, more than five million later returned home.