Cold and dark: Kyiv readies for ‘worst winter of our lives’

By YURAS KARMANAU and JOHN LEICESTER

KYIV, Ukraine — When the power is out, as it so often is, the high-rise apartment overlooking Ukraine’s war-torn capital feels like a deathtrap. No lights, no water, no way to cook food. And the risk of not being able to escape from the 21st floor in time should a Russian missile strike. Even when electricity comes back, it’s never on for long.

“Russian strikes are plunging Ukraine into the Stone Age,” says Anastasia Pyrozhenko. In a recent 24-hour spell, her 26-story high-rise only had power for half an hour. She says the “military living conditions” have driven her and husband from their apartment.

“Our building is the highest in the area and is a great target for Russian missiles, so we left our apartment for our parents’ place and are preparing for the worst winter of our lives,” said the 25-year-old.

The situation in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and other major cities has deteriorated drastically following the largest missile attack on the country’s power grid on Tuesday. Ukrainian state-owned grid operator Ukrenergo reported that 40% of Ukrainians were experiencing difficulties, due to damage to at least 15 major energy hubs across the country.

Warning that electricity outages could last anywhere from several hours to several days, the network said that “resilience and courage are what we need this winter.”

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, too, stressed the need to be ready and resilient in the face of a potential blackout: “Worst case scenario. Actually, I don’t like to talk about that, but I have to be prepared if we (do not) have electricity, blackout, no water, no heating, no services and no communication,” Klitschko told the AP on Friday.

Ukrenergo said in a statement that “thousands of kilometers of key high-voltage lines are not working,” affecting the entire country.

It published a picture …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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