Ukraine death toll rises as temperature falls

Another 18 people have died due to extremely cold weather in Ukraine, taking the death toll to 37 since the beginning of December.

Hundreds of heated tents where people can get free hot drinks and first aid are being set up as temperatures plunge to -23 degrees Celsius.

Snowfall of up to two metres has trapped hundreds of cars on motorways in western parts of the country and rescue teams are struggling to get through.

“We are running out of petrol. It will last till the night, but I don’t know what will happen next. We might really freeze to death with our children,” said one driver stranded on the road from the capital Kiev to border town Chop.

Temperatures of -33 led to the deaths of more than 130 people in Ukraine during a cold snap in February.

This time, a drop to -28 has been predicted. More than 160 people have already been hospitalised.