Ukraine’s capital is in survival mode after Russia’s latest missile barrage: residents without water, electricity

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv is in survival mode after a brutal series of Russian air strikes left most citizens without electricity, potable water or both.

About 70 percent of the city was left without electricity Thursday morning, officials said, after the latest Russian missile barrage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that the restoration process in the capital and other damaged areas continues and that officials focus on “gradually restoring electricity, heating, water and communications.”

People walk in the city center that had no electricity after yesterday’s Russian missile attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“The most difficult situation is in the Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Poltava and Kharkiv regions. But besides providing electricity for vital infrastructure, we also provide water supply and heating,” Zelensky said during his evening speech.

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He also said that areas that suffered complete blackouts when Russian forces targeted Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure are restoring power.

“Every hour we return energy to new consumers,” he said. “Energy workers, utility workers, businesses – everyone is doing their part to shine a light back on. It’s really a national mission – Ukraine is working as uniformly as possible on this.”

People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2022.

People collect water, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Residents were forced to find shelter and warmth wherever they could, including in restaurants and facilities that emerged unscathed from the attack.

Oleksiy Rachubkin, 39, a Kyiv resident, said he lost power in the attack, but was able to find a cafe that had electricity running.

“I am here because there is heat, coffee and light,” he told the Associated Press. “Here is life.”

In Kyiv, where some residents have been forced to use buckets to collect potable rainwater, the coming winter months bring a whole new challenge – but their resolve is unquestioned.

Ukrainians say attacks by Russian President Vladimir Putin will not break it.

“No one will give up their will and principles just for the sake of electricity,” said Alina Dobeko, 34, who was also without electricity, heat and water in the house.

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And as the Russian invasion crossed the nine-month mark on Thursday, Dubeko said she would rather remain without power than have to live under Russian rule.

Without light or you [Putin]? “Without you,” she said, echoing comments made by Zelensky on October 10, when the rockets began pounding.

A woman walks in the city center that lost electricity after yesterday's Russian missile attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2022.

A woman walks in the city center that lost electricity after yesterday’s Russian missile attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

While Kyiv was recovering, other cities, especially Kherson, were hit by the heaviest bombing since Ukrainian forces recaptured them two weeks ago.

The Russian missile attack on the city killed at least five people.

Officials said overnight strikes outside the city of Zaporizhye destroyed a Ukrainian maternity hospital, killing a two-day-old baby.

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“In the night, Russian monsters fired huge missiles into the small maternity ward of the Vilnyansk hospital. Sorrow fills our hearts – a baby who had just seen the light of day was killed. Rescuers are working at the site,” Gov. Oleksandr Starukh said on Telegram Thursday.

Russian attacks continue to cause power outages across the country, despite claims that they target key infrastructure that enables the Ukrainian military. However, Ukrainian officials say the Russian attacks have caused immeasurable damage to civilian areas, including homes, roads, hospitals and schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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