Cooperation and confidence in victory fuel the resilience of Ukrainians in the face of their most difficult winter

Cooperation and confidence in victory fuel the resilience of Ukrainians in the face of their most difficult winter


Citizens of Ukraine try to adjust to normality from blackouts caused by Russian attacks

Fitness by candlelight in Le
Fitness by candlelight in Lepolismykola tysEFE
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Ukrainians are leaning on cooperation and the belief in eventual victory as they try to find a new normal under Russian attacks, which involve widespread blackouts across the country.

“I am prepared for any scenario”, says Olena Mykula as she lights candles in her apartment on the fifth floor of a Lepolis block of flats (west). Another missile attack has ended just a few hours ago. Although parts of the city remain without power, its immediate psychological effect does not seem likely to be what the planners of those attacks may have had in mind.

“I was scared in the first or second attack but now I just believe that our armed forces protect us,” Olena explains. She normally meticulously follows anti-aircraft alerts and takes cover in the bathroom, where she has her emergency supplies stored.

This time she left the home shelter on low alert because she and her husband, Olexandr, followed up-to-the-minute social media reports about the development of the attack, in which 60 of 70 Russian missiles missed their targets.

This young couple is one of the millions of Ukrainians who have to spend several hours a day without electricity. Power outages are scheduled to ensure that everyone receives at least some power as the distribution system cannot supply all the demand.

In addition to the candles, Olena uses several battery-powered garlands to light the room: “I feel so much better if there’s light inside despite the blackouts,” she says. also shows a portable battery that the couple uses to power their Wi-Fi router, cell phones, and laptops during blackouts. Another one is coming and a small camping stove is used to heat the food.

Not everyone can buy these devices, whose prices have skyrocketed due to increased demand, Olena acknowledges. As different neighborhoods in the city lose power in turns, the couple have already hosted or visited friends during the outages.

Olena believes that she can rely on the help of her friends who have devices that she does not have, such as large gas cylinders for cooking. If things get really tough she also has the option of going to an office of her company, which has an electric generator.

Vika, whose apartment is on the eighteenth floor of a block in Odesa, tells EFE that help among citizens is the key. Her building has hardly suffered any power or water outages. Along with her neighbors, he has invited the less fortunate residents of the neighboring houses and those who suffer from cuts more often to come over for a shower, recharge your devices and do laundry.

He says that although there are some businesses that are having a hard time, many stores now have generators that allow people to recharge their mobile phones and boil some water. Some of his friends with his children are thinking of emigrating abroad to stay with relatives if there is no electricity, although no one really wants to leave. Vika is determined to stay in Odessa with her husband.

“We knew that winter would be very difficult so many have prepared themselves,” he says.. “Many suffer from the lack of light but nervous attacks alternate with patriotic feelings”, ensures.

Volodmir Stanchyshyn, psychotherapist author of the book “Emotional Changes in War,” told EFE that Ukrainians are understandably tired after nine months of war and that blackouts are a new source of anxiety.

He stresses, however, that the repeated blows against the infrastructures will not break them. On the contrary, he thinks the blackouts make Ukrainians angrier at Russia, dulling the pain and giving them added determination to fight until they win. “The feeling that we are actually winning on the battlefield helps counter anxiety,” he says.

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