Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed that at least five people have died and 19 injured as a result of a severe storm in the country’s southern region of Odesa. The severe snowstorm hit Ukraine overnight on Monday, causing traffic disruptions and power outages in 17 regions, Xinhua news agency reported. At least 2,019 of villages and towns have been left without electricity as strong winds damaged power grids, the country’s Energy Ministry said on social media. The southern Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, the central Dnipropetrovsk region, and the northern Kiev region were affected the most by the blizzard, said the Ministry. The other affected regions are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Crimea, with traffic currently blocked on 14 motorways. A state of emergency is now in place in several municipalities in Crimea. More than 1,500 rescuers have been deployed across Ukraine in a massive clean-up operation. In the capital Kiev, the country’s largest flag – measuring 16x24m – had to be taken down from a 90m pole after it was damaged by fierce winds. City officials said the flag would be replaced and raised again. Meanwhile, the storm has also battered Russia, Moldova, Georgia and Bulgaria. According to Russia’s Energy Ministry, the worst hit regions were Dagestan, Krasnodar and Rostov. While Russia’s Black Sea port of Sochi witnessed big waves battering the city’s seafront, authorities in Moscow had to deploy specialist machinery to clear the streets after heavy snowfall.