It’s been a few days since kyiv woke up covered by a blanket of snow. So while the sirens flak rumbled in the Ukrainian capital and its inhabitants faced major power outages and heating and water cuts, winter came stealthily to the country.

With him, the war has entered a new phase. The cold and rainfall introduce new difficulties for combatants, no matter which side they are. On the one hand, daylight hours are reduced to less than nine, compared to 15-16 hours of light in summer.

That means that, in the coming months, there will be fewer offensives and more defensive fronts that will remain practically static. Because the ice and mud hinder the progress of heavy vehicles, but also the movement on foot. Even doing basic exercises, how to clean weaponsbecomes a complicated task in extreme weather conditions.

With the forecast that temperatures will drop to -20ºC, the nights seem especially hard on the front line. For this reason, night fighting is most likely to be avoided, according to the British Ministry of Defense in one of its daily reports.

Tetiana Reznychenko, a resident of the Ukrainian village of Horenka, shovels snow near her apartment building, which has no electricity, heating or running water.


Survive at -20ºC

Winter could do what nine months of war have failed to do: drive thousands of Ukrainians from their homes, not to be safe from bombsbut to survive the low temperatures after the Russian army has severely damaged the country’s main energy infrastructure.

In the last weeks, Russiaunable to stop the onslaught of Ukrainian forces on the battlefield, has focused its efforts on destroying power plants and water facilities, leaving without supply to more than ten million people. Already in October, the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenskyasked its citizens to reduce energy consumption.

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Since then, water cuts, blackouts and heating interruptions have been the daily bread of the residents of the capital and other large cities such as Nicolaiev or Kharkiv. However, the Government fear that the worst is yet to come.“We cannot generate so much energy so that all consumers can use it because of the colossal destruction of the grid,” Volodimir Kudrytskyi, chief executive of ukrenergothe state electricity transmission company.

A local woman warms her hands as volunteers cook food for locals in Kherson, Ukraine on November 18, 2022.

A local woman warms her hands as volunteers cook food for locals in Kherson, Ukraine on November 18, 2022.


darker days

That is why the Ukrainian authorities have started to offer evacuations volunteers in some southern areas such as the recently liberated Kherson and Mykolaiv, where the infrastructure has been practically destroyed. The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Iryna Vereschukhe announced through his Telegram account that the Government is preparing to offer free accommodation, humanitarian aid and medical support to those who decide to leave the city.

The problem is that now that the Kremlin troops have withdrawn from the area west of the Dnieper River, many people are returning to Kherson. Currently it is estimated that in the city there are only 80,000 of the 250,000 people who lived before the war, since last October, the Russians carried out the “evacuation” – “deportation”, according to Ukraine – of thousands of civilians.

Neighbors charge their mobile phones from a generator on a street in the city of Kherson, Ukraine, on November 18, 2022.

Neighbors charge their mobile phones from a generator on a street in the city of Kherson, Ukraine, on November 18, 2022.


The World Health Organization (WHO) expects a total of three million ukrainians move within the country this winter”in search of warmth and security“Especially because, according to the agency, hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals and health centers lack fuel, water and electricity to function.

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“Ukraine’s healthcare system is facing its darkest days in the war so far. Having endured more than 700 attacksis now also a victim of the energy crisis,” Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said this week in a statement collected by Reuters.

Despite the fact that the main energy operators in the country are trying against the clock to repair the infrastructure, Sergei Kovalenko, director of YASNO, does not believe that it will be possible to provide the necessary energy to the country in the medium term. “Stock up warm clothes, blankets, think about options that will help you overcome a prolonged blackoutKovalenk said in a statement. Adding: “It’s better to do it now than be miserable.”

Russia-Ukraine War

Source: Elespanol

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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