Winter Is Coming: Ukrainians Dig in for Brutal Season Ahead


Yianni Paravalos

Winter is coming. They can feel it in their bones as temperatures drop below freezing. And like tens of thousands of other Ukrainians, they are facing a season that promises to be brutal.

According to U.S. News “Artem and his grandmother have been living without gas, water or electricity for around three weeks, ever since Russian missile strikes cut off the utilities in their town in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region. For them and the few other residents that remain in the complex in Kivsharivka, bundling up at night and cooking outdoors is the only way to survive.”

“It’s cold and there are bombings,” Artem said Sunday as he helped his grandmother with the cooking. “It’s really cold. I’m sleeping in my clothes in our apartment.”

As the freeze sets in, those who haven’t left from the heavy fighting and months of Russian fighting  in eastern Ukraine are desperately trying to figure out how to dig in for the cold months.

“Authorities are working to gradually restore electricity to the area in the coming days, and repairs to water and gas infrastructure will come next, according to Roman Semenukha, a deputy with the Kharkiv regional government.”

““Only after that will we be able to begin to restore heating,” he said.”

“Authorities were working to provide firewood to residents, he added, but had no timeline for when the utilities would be restored.”

Authorities in the Ukrainian-controlled areas of the neighboring, hotly contested Donetsk region have urged all remaining residents to evacuate, and warned that gas and water services in many areas will likely not be restored by winter. Like in the Kharkiv region, ordinary Ukrainians are still living in thousands of homes that have been wrecked by Russian strikes, with leaky or damaged roofs and blown-out windows that are unable to provide protection against cold or wet weather.

Later Artem says. “I hope we’ll have electricity soon, so we can live through this winter somehow.”