For the fourth day Kyiv has been fighting snowfalls, and though today there are no precipitations, those for the past three days have been enough to paralyze the capital. To fight bad weather Kyiv has called 295 units of snow-cleaning equipment for the first shift and 247 units for the second and 87 (517 people) and 39 (244 people) emergency response teams respectively. 

For the past 24 hours, there have been used 943.9 tons of sanding materials and another 600 tons of salt are coming to the city for further works.  For the past three days there have been 9233 tons of snow removed from the roads and taken out of the city. The cleaning works continue, and traffic police assists in provision of stable traffic and smooth work of road workers.

ForUm has decided to ask MPs and experts on whether Ukraine and Kyiv in particular were ready to meet the challenge or the bad weather came as a surprise (as usual):

Oleksiy Baburib, MP of the VI parliament (Communist party):

- You know, in soviet times we had worse winters and snowfalls, but we never had such poor response to the situation. Apart from communal services, every enterprises had a territory it was responsible for, and in case of snowfall those enterprises were helping to clean city territory first and only then started to clean their own. It is obvious that irresponsibility rules now. We have meteorological service which can predict whether a week before. The authorities could have been prepared.

Volodymyr Oliynyk, MP (Party of Regions):

- Bothe the authorities and meteorologists warned about bad weather coming. People should have restrained from traveling. It is the first time in hundred years we have so much snow falling. None of the countries, which suffered heavy snowfalls, was ready for this.

I saw communal services working hard, helping people to warm up and digging out vehicles. I would estimate the actions of the authorities as efficient enough. The opposition, though, instead of helping with shovels started to criticize the authorities for poor work saying it would do better. No, it would not. Whatever the authorities do to control the situation it is impossible to avoid problems concerning delayed deliveries, ambulances coming not on time, etc. 

Vitaly Yarema, MP (Batkivshchyna party):

- We should always be ready to bad weather. The fact that the city streets have been paralyzed for three days proves that the capital does not have adequate authorities. I believe we need a mayor, elected by residents, not appointed by the central power.

Indeed, we lack equipment, but look at the city budget. I remember that when Chernovetski was in power the Kyiv budget made 18-23 billion hryvnias. Why did not they allocate some money to purchase more equipment? The spend money for festivals and fireworks, but nobody solves emergency issues.

Tetyana Melikhova, deputy of the Kyiv council (Batkivshchyna party):

- Despite timely warning and vast experience in fighting bad weather, the Kyiv authorities were not ready and failed to control the situation. On Friday night people could not get home, and on weekend the public transport was not running, all because of carelessness of the city authorities. On Monday they announced a day off because it is unreal to get to work. I believe Popov, as well as Chernovetski at his time, is waiting for the snow to melt by itself.

Oleksandr Serhiyenko, director of the City Institute:

- The question is not whether we could handle the snow. It is obvious that we failed - not enough equipment, fuel, etc. but it is not the matter.
On Thursday, the forecast warned about coming snowfalls. Even if it is was 40 million tons of snow coming, the mayor should stay in Kyiv and prepare to meet the challenge, not to fly in Poland. Equipments should have been ready and put into operation not on Saturday morning, but on Thursday night to prevent all that chaos on the roads. Traffic of trucks should have been limited right on Thursday, and on Friday, state workers should have been let to go home earlier. We all know how intense the traffic is on Friday night even without snowfall. The decisions the authorities made were too late.

Oleksandr Holub, MP (Communist party):

- Indeed the situation was extreme and such amount of snow always causes troubles. However, we all saw that the communal services were absolutely unprepared - insufficient number of equipment, no strategy, no proper organization. I believe the authorities should appoint adequate people, responsible for liquidation of emergency situations like this one. Moreover, the question of purchasing new equipment should also be considered.

Yaroslav Sukhoy, MP (Party of Regions):

- On Saturday night I had to be in the region. I left Kyiv along the Kremenchug highway and got stuck in a traffic jam. I want to say that traffic police officers were helping everyone in need and were pulling out stuck cars with bare hands.

I don' think it is a matter of carelessness and poor preparation. It was a natural disaster. Similar situations happen in the United States, Germany, Poland, but nobody speaks about carelessness. It is not the time to look for a bad guy, but to join the efforts and be ready for the next challenges, as with the climate change such situations may become frequent.


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