Ukraine is now suffering petrol shortages that are affecting civilians, various media are reporting. Queues at some petrol stations are as long as a rush hour traffic jam in a major city, since many petrol stations are closed because they have no fuel to sell. What is worse, once drivers reach the pump, they will likely not be able to fill their tanks. Some petrol stations have rationed gas to 10 litres per car at each fill-up. That amount of petrol will get a car approximately another 80 kilometres down the road.
The fuel shortage is an additional strain on Ukrainians already under fire from Russia, many of whom are travelling either to return to homes they abandoned in the initial fear and shock of the Russian invasion, or to seek safety and shelter in another part of the country.
Euronews also reports that Ukrainians are bearing this additional hardship with the same grit and patience that the world has marvelled at since the beginning of the Russian attack.
The fuel shortages are due to the Russian blockade of ports and bombings of some fuel depots. Reuters reported that Russia hit Ukraine’s main fuel producer, the Kremenchuk oil refinery, as well as several other large depots during the last week of April.
In response, Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenski promised to find alternative fuel supplies and supply lines to alleviate the fuel shortage.
“Russia has also blocked our ports, so there are no immediate solutions to replenish the deficit,” he said in his nightly public address. “But government officials promise that within a week, maximum two, a system of fuel supply to Ukraine will be at work that will prevent shortages.”
Russia has intensified its attack on Ukraine in the last couple of weeks, also targeting supply lines used to provide arms to the Ukrainian military.
Bridget Ryder is Spain-based writer. She has written on politics, environment, and culture for American and international publications. She holds degrees in Spanish and Catholic Studies.