Ukraine-Russia War: Life under Russian bombing |  International

Ukraine-Russia War: Life under Russian bombing | International

After the Russian missile attacks on Wednesday against residential buildings in Vishgorod, a neighboring city of kyiv, Valentina and Vitali Aleksenko ended up admitted to different hospitals. They were lucky. They survived, but during the shelling and subsequent fire in the apartment building, their Jack Russell dogs and Bonia fled in fright and the cat disappeared. Valentina, from the hospital, appealed to the inhabitants of Vishgorod to find and save the dogs and the cat. One of the dogs turned up right away, and the cat was also later found in the basement of another building, but the fate of the second dog is unknown.

At the same time, during the massive shelling of kyiv and various regions of the country with missiles, a concert was beginning at the kyiv Philharmonic. When the entire country lost power, the power in the concert hall also went out. But both the musicians and the audience decided that the concert had to go on. Onlookers lit their mobile phone flashlights and some even lit candles. These days, many Kievans carry candles and matches in case they have to walk up to the twentieth floor of a building in complete darkness without an elevator. The musicians finished the concert without electricity, and many spectators will remember this concert for the rest of their lives. A few days ago my wife, Elisabeth, went to the opera to see a performance of Carmen. He was incredibly lucky: the entire function took place under electric light. It is true that the representation began at twelve noon, so there were more possibilities of ending it with daylight in the street.

For Ukrainians, the concept of Russian roulette has lost its original meaning. Now no one knows when Russia will again bomb Ukraine with missiles or Iranian drone bombs. But everyone knows that the shelling will continue and therefore it is difficult to hide from them. But life goes on and it must. All these trips to the theater and concerts, to the cinema and museums, are acts of resistance. The Ukrainians are not afraid of Russian aggression, although they understand that any of them can become a victim at any time.

On the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, a newborn was the victim of Russian aggression. A Russian missile blew up a maternity hospital in Vilnyansk, a city near Zaporizhia. The rescue services, which immediately began to remove the rubble from the maternity hospital, were able to save the child’s mother and the doctor. The child, only two days old, died.

In Vishgorod, after the fire in a residential building had been extinguished and the rubble removed, after all the injured had been taken to hospitals and the dead taken to the morgue, a list of all the injured was distributed online, indicating What hospital were they admitted to? This makes it easy for friends and family to locate you. After every Russian bombing, the Ukrainians try to check if their friends and family have been hurt, and there are times when the mobile phone network is overwhelmed.

On Thursday morning, my oldest son, Theo, filled a bucket with snow and brought it home. After another attack with Russian missiles, we were still without electricity or water in the kyiv apartment. But the shops were open and drinking water could be bought. Certainly only with cash. It was not possible to pay with bank cards. Drinking water is the number one selling item today. The inhabitants of kyiv and other cities get water where they can to wash dishes and for bathing. The simplest is to collect snow and wait for it to melt. Luckily, a lot has already fallen. Many residents put empty buckets on the balconies so that snow falls there from the sky.

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With these attacks as a backdrop, Russian television reports on the news that the inhabitants of Ukraine are protesting against the current government and demanding that it sit down to negotiate with Putin. Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri Peskov, has also already announced that Russia is bombing infrastructure and that it is trying to leave the civilian population of Ukraine without electricity, gas or water, in order for Ukraine to quickly accept negotiations. of “peace”, that is, that it capitulate and recognize the occupied territories in Ukraine as Russian territory.

But the fact is that the Ukrainians do not protest against the government or the president. They are getting more and more challenging. They know what Putin wants and are preparing for a harsh winter. Those who live in the villages are, of course, better prepared. The inhabitants of the villages of Ukraine have reserves of firewood or coal for heating. They have wells, some of them underground. Many have stockpiled candles and matches.

For city dwellers it is much more difficult. It is impossible to survive in winter in an apartment without heating or electricity. Between December and February, frosts arrive and the air temperature drops to 15 or 20 degrees below zero. Those temperatures can last for weeks. And this means that any family living in an urban high-rise building has to be prepared in advance to leave, be it to the homes of relatives and friends living in a village, or as refugees abroad.

In the last two weeks, the Ukrainian authorities have accelerated the fitting out in each city of tens and hundreds of spaces that will be heated with generators and in which it will be possible to flee from the cold in the event of a total lack of heating. There will be kitchens to cook food, and phones and computers can be charged. There will be enough space for many people to stay there for some time awaiting an organized evacuation. Those spots, most of which will be located in schools and kindergartens, have been called “invincibility points.” Some 4,000 points of this type are currently operating. Many of them also offer primary health care.

Following defeat on the battlefield, Putin attempts to remotely destroy Ukraine with rockets and missiles. Now, only additional anti-air attack systems can help Ukraine survive this winter, the harshest on the country since World War II.

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