Russian drone and missile attacks on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine have left millions of people living in darkness, many without water supply or means of communication.
Over the last few weeks, Russian airstrikes on electric substations, hydropower and heat generation facilities all over Ukraine and the rush to repair the damaged objects have become a bitter routine for Ukrainians. The massive missile attacks all over the country took place on October 10th, 11th, 17th and 22nd and November 2nd. As a result, 40 per cent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been seriously damaged, causing power outages in multiple regions and forcing emergency shutdown schedules to be introduced.
Due to emergency non-stop repair works, it was possible to stabilize the energy supply in some regions. However, other regions were left in darkness for many hours, mainly in Kyiv and in central and north-east parts of the country.
These attacks against the civilian population are leading to more suffering for both adults and children, particularly those living in cold basements with no light or heating in the midst of winter, hoping desperately for relief.
Nadiya Bobyk, 41, a mother whose family is enrolled on Mission Without Borders’ family sponsorship programme, said, “As well as the hardships and challenges caused by energy outages and blackouts, we’re really worried about our children’s education. It’s been disturbed for a long period of time now, and it’s becoming more and more complicated.”
The Bobyks live in poverty in western Ukraine in an old one-roomed house with no bathroom; they use an outside toilet. Ivan, 38, takes on seasonal jobs when he can get them, and the family grow vegetables and keep some livestock. Their children, always cheerful and friendly, have become quieter and more afraid lately as a result of the missile strikes.
“The the blackouts make distance studying impossible, especially in villages and rural areas,” Nadiya said. “Also, due to sudden power outages some of our household appliances have stopped working, unfortunately. We’re not complaining as it’s not the worst thing that could happen.
“Our neighbours needed urgent treatment at hospital a couple of days ago. When they were there, the electricity cut out. Thankfully, by God’s mercy, everything finished well in the end.
“There aren’t enough emergency generators, however. The absence of power supply causes huge discomfort. However, at moments of despair we remind ourselves of those Ukrainians who have been suffering from constant shelling and bombing and terror for a long time. They’ve had no light, no heating and no water supply for many months since the beginning of the war. Then there’s a humble gratitude in our hearts for everything we still have for now – and our sincere and fervent prayer for those who are in much worse conditions.”