Ukraine army tackles snow chaos amid Kiev emergency

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Army vehicle towing trolleybus in Kiev, 24 Mar 13Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Kiev: Record snowfall has wreaked havoc on the roads in Ukraine

Armoured personnel carriers are being used in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, to drag buses and other vehicles out of snowdrifts, amid a state of emergency.

The authorities say the normal monthly level of snow fell in just 24 hours.

The blizzard conditions caused power cuts in about 600 towns and villages across Ukraine at the weekend.

Hundreds of soldiers are helping Kiev's citizens to dig out cars buried in snow and the city is struggling to get public transport moving again.

A state of emergency was declared on Saturday, as some 50cm (20in) of snow blanketed Kiev.

Most of the country's newspapers failed to appear on Monday, BBC Monitoring reports.

Ukraine is expected to remain gripped by severe weather for the next few days.

The worst affected regions are Kiev, Ternopil, Rivne, Volyn and Khmelnytsky.

In Kiev, thousands of drivers were trapped in their cars overnight and had to walk home braving a blizzard at the weekend, Albiy Shudrya of BBC Ukrainian reports.

Some people have taken to skiing along streets blanketed in snow.

There has been some disruption to food supplies, with some people complaining about bread shortages in supermarkets.

The Kiev authorities are working to put trolleybuses and trams back into service, but buses are running on the main routes.