Ukraine’s capital Kyiv is in survival mode after a brutal series Russian air attacks left most citizens without electricity, potable water, or both.
About 70% of the city was left without power on Thursday morning after the latest rocket attack from Russia, officials said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that the recovery process in the capital and other affected areas is ongoing, and that officials are focusing on “the gradual restoration of electricity, heat, water and communications.”
“The most difficult situation is in Kyiv, Kirovograd, Dnipropetrovsk, Lvov, Poltava and Kharkiv regions. But along with the supply of electricity to critical infrastructure facilities, we also provide water and heat supply,” Zelensky said during a nightly address.
He also said that areas that went completely offline when Russian troops attacked them. Electrical infrastructure of Ukraine even regain power.
“Every hour we restore power to new consumers,” he said. “Energymen, public utilities, business – everyone is making their contribution to turn the light on again. This is really a national task – Ukraine is working on this as unitedly as possible.”
Residents were forced to seek shelter and warmth wherever they could, including restaurants and facilities that had survived the attack.
Aleksey Rashchupkin, a 39-year-old from Kiev, said the attack caused his electricity to go out, but he was able to find a café that had electricity.
“I am here because there is heat, coffee and light,” he told The Associated Press. “That’s life.”
In Kyiv, where some residents have been forced to use buckets to collect potable rainwater, the coming winter months will bring an entirely new challenge, but their resolve is unquestioned.
Ukrainians speak Russian President Vladimir Putin attacks won’t break them.
“No one will compromise their will and principles just for the sake of electricity,” said Alina Dubeyko, 34, who also had no electricity, heating or running water at home.
Although the Russian invasion crossed the nine-month mark on Thursday, Dubeyko said she would rather remain powerless than live under Russian rule.
“Without light or you [Putin]? Without you,” she said, echoing Zelenskiy’s words on October 10, when the rocket attack began.
Bye Kyiv is recovering other cities, especially Kherson, have come under heavy shelling since Ukrainian forces recaptured it two weeks ago.
At least five people were killed in a Russian rocket attack on the city.
Nighttime strikes near Zaporozhye destroyed a Ukrainian maternity hospital, officials said, killing a two-day-old baby.
“During the night, Russian monsters fired huge rockets at the small maternity ward of a hospital in Vilnyansk. Sorrow overwhelms our hearts – a baby who has just seen the light has died. Rescuers are on the scene,” the governor said. Oleksandr Starukh announced this on Thursday in Telegram.
Russian attacks continue to cause power outages across the country, although Russia claims to be targeting key infrastructure that powers the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian officials, however, say Russian attacks have caused countless destruction of civilian facilities, including homes, roads, hospitals and schools.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.