Yuliia, who escaped the capital of Kyiv and is now residing in the USA, writes about how her Ukrainian friends and relatives cope with no electricity in her war-torn homeland.
Throughout Ukraine, there are massive missile strikes from Russia. They constantly damage power plants and water canals, making them unable to work at full capacity. In combination with December’s freezing temperatures, this leads to an increase in the electricity deficit in the system. The goal of the enemy is to leave Ukrainians without water, gas, and electricity.
Therefore, the reality in Ukraine now is planning your day according to upcoming scheduled blackouts, as well as water or gas shutdowns (since water & gas is also controlled by our electricity system.) Generally, the government turns off the power for 3 hours at a time and then back on for 3 hours, etc… and a schedule is posted for each area to follow. However, the power cuts can often last 12 hours, and sometimes even more. But even when these blackouts occur, Ukrainians say that they would rather live like this, than with Russians on their territory.
Ukrainians have to cook food at home on a camping gas stove or heat the pan using candles. Moreover, people try to conserve electricity even when it is available, because everyone understands that it is a single system for the country, and some areas have outages that last longer, and somewhere less.
In the cities of Ukraine, there are special meeting places (called points of invincibility) where you can come to warm up and charge your gadgets. Some city cafés, despite the difficulties of just existing, turned into free co-working centers and opened their doors also as points of heating and for charging phones, etc… Many neighbors create their own points of invincibility, whereby when there is no power, they go visit friends who have electricity. And then when they have power, those same friends come over. However, for the elderly, this is not possible. Many of the elderly are staying in hospitals, just to keep warm and stay alive.
People are united, without panic, continue to work or study in places where there are generators or in bomb shelters and subways during air raids. People continue to live life adapting to their circumstances. However, there is a downside to this, because both Ukrainians and the world are "getting used" to this war. They are holding firm, but of course, all these power outages tire Ukrainians even more. Many people are cold, worn out and suffering.
Schoolchildren have every reason not to do their homework when there is no light, but little Ukrainians still do it even with candles and flashlights or go outside in the cold when there is daylight. The children understand now that there is a war in our country. They understand why there is no light. They know what air raid sirens sound like and what to do during an attack. But they also know that Ukraine will definitely win.
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‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40