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‘Worse than Second World War’: Inside the homes of Kyiv residents with no power or water

A grandmother of 91 years old says that she is afraid as the night falls. She plunges her apartment block in Kyiv into darkness, under the light of candlelight.

Anna Abrosimova was injured when she fell during a blackout. She is too fragile to move anywhere else.

Standing in the hallway of her tidy, neat first-floor apartment, she declared, “I am living in an absolute nightmare.”

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Russian missile strikes against Ukraine‘s power supply and water supplies have transformed people’s houses, like hers into a new frontline, as Vladimir Putin attempts to crush their resistance.

Anna, who lives with her granddaughter of 18 years, stated that she is determined to live.

To keep warm, she kept water bottles in her hallway and covered soup pots with blankets.

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Image In recent weeks, Power cut frequency has increased

She stood next to a wall decoration that said in English “Love, Happy, Joy”, and she stated: “I urgently desire to live to witness the victory and how it’s all over.”

“But it has been almost one year since the bandit [Putin] began a war against our country. Is he ashamed?

She claimed that her husband of 59 year, who died over a decade ago was Russian.

“We used to be together [in Soviet Union ]… Putin came into power, and what are we doing now?” He wants Ukraine. We won’t allow him. If I were younger, I would fight for my country.”

Image: Ukraine at night, NASA Pic: NASA WORLDVIEW/Reuters

Worse Than Hitler’

Anna claimed that the suffering caused by Russia’s invasion was worse than what her country suffered during the Second World War when she was a child.

They are worse than Hitler. Hitler – God forgive me for saying that – was a stranger, but they [the Russians] look like our people,” she stated.

It was difficult during the Second World War. My father died, leaving me, my younger brother, and my mother. It was hard, but it wasn’t as bad as now. “My nerves are shredded.”

Anna stated that there were power outages at times following Russia’s full-scale war of 24 February. However, it has become more severe and unpredictable in recent weeks.

Her granddaughter works during the workday. She cannot return home if there is no power.

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Russian forces have destroyed energy and water infrastructures in waves of deliberate strikes. This tactic seems to be designed to crush Ukraine’s resistance as winter approaches.

“Of course I’m worried. Anna stated that she wished she had electricity. It is difficult, but it is what I want. I want to wait for peace.”

Image Myroslava and her children

Mother melts snow to get water

A young mother and her children, Viktor, five, and Anna, two, live in a nearby apartment. They are now having to adjust to the new reality of power outages and water shortages, as well as the threat of missile strike.

The block was also without electricity and running water on Wednesday, Thursday, but they were able to get services back on Friday.

Myroslava Babchenko (32), sat in her children’s room, which doubles as a playroom, and said, “When there is no electricity, it feels like you can adapt.”

It became extremely uncomfortable when the water ran out and all our amenities were gone. It’s also very difficult to clean your children’s hands when they are young.

Image: The destruction at Kyiv

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To make water suitable for washing, she decided to melt some of the first snows of the year.

Myroslava stated that she wants to remain with her family in Kyiv, but that if the situation becomes more dire she will leave and move to a vacation home outside of the capital.

Image Water stored at Kyiv apartment

My brother is at the frontline. He said we shouldn’t be sad, and that we should enjoy life, since they are there to make us happy,” she stated, as her daughter played with a balloon with a heart-shaped red shape.

“I don’t consider myself a soldier, but… There is a Ukrainian phrase: “What is your power?” “I’m Ukrainian …’, and I’m proud of it.”


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