Bombed Capital of Ukraine: Residents of the bombed capital of Ukraine clung to empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmth on Thursday, shifting defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into darkness. Some residents of the 3 million-person city of Kyiv resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes while repair teams worked to reconnect water supplies.
Friends and relatives exchanged messages to determine who had electricity and water restored. A few possessed one but not the other. The day prior’s aerial assault on Ukraine’s power grid left many without electricity or water. Both Kyiv cafés had, by some small miracle, become oases of comfort on Thursday. Oleksiy Rashchupkin, a 39-year-old investment banker, awoke to find that water but not electricity had been restored to his apartment on the third floor. During the blackout, his freezer defrosted, leaving a puddle on his floor.
Therefore, he boarded a taxi and crossed the Dnieper River from the left bank to the right in order to reach a café that had remained open despite previous Russian strikes. The establishment served hot beverages and food played music, and had WiFi. “I’m here because there is heating, coffee, and light,” he said. “Here is life.” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said about 70% of the Ukrainian capital was still without power on Thursday morning.
With cold rain falling and remnants of a previous snowfall still remaining on the streets, the atmosphere was gloomy but determined. The winter is expected to be lengthy. However, Ukrainians say that if Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to destroy them, he should reconsider.
“Nobody will compromise their will and principles just for electricity,” said Alina Dubeiko, 34. She, too, sought out the comfort of another, equally crowded, warm, and lit café. Without electricity, heating, and water at home, she was determined to keep up her work routine. Adapting to a life shorn of its usual comforts, Dubeiko said she uses two glasses of water to wash, then ties her hair in a ponytail and is ready for her working day.
She stated that she would prefer to live without electricity than with the Russian invasion, which reached the nine-month mark Thursday. “Without light or you? Without you,” she said, echoing remarks President Volodymyr Zelenskky made when Russia on Oct. 10 unleashed the first of what has now become a series of aerial attacks on key Ukrainian infrastructure. Leaders in the West condemned the bombing campaign. “Attacks on civilian infrastructure are war crimes,” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, admitted on Thursday that it targeted Ukrainian energy facilities. However, he stated that they were connected to Ukraine’s military command and control system and that their purpose was to impede the flow of Ukrainian troops, weapons, and ammunition to the front lines. Authorities in Kyiv and the broader Kyiv region reported seven deaths and dozens of injuries.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We are conducting strikes against infrastructure in response to the unbridled flow of weapons to Ukraine and the reckless appeals of Kyiv to defeat Russia.” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, also attempted to place the blame for civil unrest on the Ukrainian government.
Peskov stated, “Ukraine’s leadership has every opportunity to restore normalcy, to resolve the situation in a way that satisfies the demands of the Russian side, and, consequently, to end any potential suffering of the civilian population.”
At public water stations in Kyiv, individuals filled plastic bottles. Kateryna Luchkina, a 31-year-old Health Department employee, collected rainwater from a drainpipe, a wartime first for her, so she could at least wash her hands at work, which had no water. She waited patiently in the rain while filling two plastic bottles with water to the brim. A colleague followed in her footsteps and did the same.
“We Ukrainians are so resourceful, we will think of something. We do not lose our spirit,” Luchkina said. “We work, live in the rhythm of survival or something, as much as possible. We do not lose hope that everything will be fine.”
The mayor said on Telegram that power engineers “are doing their best ” to restore electricity. Water repair teams were making progress, too. In the early afternoon, Klitschko announced that water supplies had been restored across the capital, with the caveat that “some consumers may still experience low water pressure.”
Power, heat, and water were gradually coming back elsewhere, too. In Ukraine’s southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region, the governor announced that 3,000 miners who were trapped underground because of power blackouts had been rescued. Regional authorities posted messages on social media updating people on the progress of repairs but also saying they needed time.
Authorities are opening thousands of heated and powered “points of invincibility” that provide hot meals, electricity, and Internet access. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a senior official in the presidential office, reported that as of Thursday morning, more than 3,700 banks were open across the country.
In Kherson, a city in Ukraine’s south that was recaptured by Ukrainian forces two weeks ago, hospitals are struggling with a lack of power and water as Russian attacks intensify. Olena Zhura was delivering bread to her neighbors on Thursday when a strike destroyed half of their home in Kherson and injured Victor injured her husband. Victor was whisked away by paramedics as he writhed in pain.
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