Residents of the bombed-out Ukrainian capital flocked to cafes clutching empty bottles for water and seeking strength and warmth a day earlier when Russia’s new missile strike decimated much of the city and country. After plunging into darkness, I defiantly switched to Survival Mode.
In an unbelievable scene for a sophisticated city of three million people, some residents of Kyiv resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes, and repair teams struggled to reconnect supplies.
Friends and family exchanged messages to find out who got the electricity and water back. Some had one, but not the other. Many got neither because of the previous day’s aerial attacks on the Ukrainian power grid.
By a few small miracles, Kyiv’s cafes quickly turned into comfortable oasis on Thursday.
Oleksiy Rashchupkin, a 39-year-old investment banker, woke up to find that the water had been reconnected to his third-floor apartment, but power was still off. The power outage melted the freezer and created a puddle on the floor.
So he hopped in a cab, crossed the Dnipro River from left bank to right bank, and headed for a cafe he realized was still open after the previous Russian airstrikes. Sure enough, hot drinks and hot food were served, music and his Wi-Fi were on.
“I’m here because I have heat, coffee, and light,” he said. “There is life here”
Kherson under new attack
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Thursday morning that about 70% of the Ukrainian capital was still without power.
As Kyiv and other cities recover, Kherson on Thursday came under the heaviest shelling since Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern port city two weeks ago. A barrage of missiles killed four of him outside a coffee shop and a woman next to his home, a witness told his Associated Press reporter.
The mood was grim but steely in Kyiv, with cold rain left over from previous snowfalls. Winter promises to be a long one. But Ukrainians say if Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention is to defeat them, he should think twice.
“No one compromises will and principles just for the sake of electricity,” said 34-year-old Alina Dubeyko. Since there was no electricity, heat or water in her house, she decided to keep her job. Adapting to her life without her usual comforts, Ms. Dubeiko rinses her body with her two cups of water, puts her hair in a ponytail and goes about her business. She said she was ready.
She said being powerless was better than living with a Russian invasion that crossed the nine-month mark on Thursday.
“Without the light? Without you,” she said, echoing remarks made by President Zelensky on Oct. 10 when Russia launched the first of a series of airstrikes against key Ukrainian infrastructure. .
Russia admits attacks on infrastructure
Western leaders condemned the bombing campaign.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Attacking civilian infrastructure is a war crime.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense, confirmed on Thursday that it targeted Ukrainian energy installations. But they are related to Ukraine’s military command and control system, whose purpose is to block the flow of Ukrainian troops, weapons and ammunition to the front lines, he said.
Officials in the city of Kiev and the wider Kyiv region reported a total of seven dead and dozens injured.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said, “We are conducting attacks on infrastructure in response to the unrestricted flow of arms to Ukraine and Kyiv’s reckless appeal to defeat Russia.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, also tried to shift the responsibility for the suffering of civilians to the Ukrainian government.
“The Ukrainian leadership has every chance to bring the situation back to normal, to resolve the situation in such a way as to meet the demands of the Russian side, thus ending all possible suffering of the civilian population. ‘ said Peskov. .
“We don’t lose heart”
In Kyiv, people lined up at public water stations to fill plastic bottles.
During her first strange new wartime period, 31-year-old Health Ministry employee Katerina Luchkina relied on collecting rainwater from drains so she could at least wash her hands in a waterless workplace. She filled her two plastic bottles with water and waited patiently in the rain for them to fill up. Her colleague followed behind her and did the same.
“We Ukrainians are very resourceful, we think about something, we never lose our minds,” said Luchkina. “We work and live in the rhythm of survival or something as much as possible. We never lose hope that everything will work out.”
The mayor of Kyiv told Telegram that power engineers were “doing their best” to restore electricity. The water repair team was also making progress. Earlier in the afternoon, Klitschko announced that water supplies had been restored across the capital, with the caveat that “some consumers may still be experiencing reduced water pressure.”
Electricity, heat and water also gradually returned. In the Dnipropetrovsk region of southeastern Ukraine, the governor announced that his 3,000 miners trapped underground due to a power outage have been rescued. Local officials posted messages on social media updating the progress of the repairs, but also said they needed more time.
As winter progresses and with current and future difficulties in mind, authorities are opening up thousands of so-called “points of invincibility,” known as heated and powered spaces, which provide hot meals, electricity and internet connectivity. doing. As of Thursday morning, he had more than 3,700 operating across the country, said his Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior presidential official.
In Kherson, hospitals without electricity and water are also battling the devastating aftereffects of an intensifying Russian strike. They stormed residential and commercial buildings on Thursday, setting them ablaze, blowing ash into the sky and shattering glass in the street. Paramedics helped the injured.