Conflicts & War

Cooperation, confidence in victory fuel Ukrainians’ resilience

By Rostyslav Averchuk

Lviv, Ukraine, Dec 6 (EFE).- Ukrainians are relying on cooperation and belief in their eventual victory while trying to find a semblance of normality amid repeated Russian missile attacks that are causing power cuts throughout the country.

“I am now ready for any scenario,” says Olena Mykula as she lights candles in her fifth floor apartment in Lviv.

The latest Russian missile attack ended a few hours ago and even though parts of the city remain without electricity, the bombardment of civilian infrastructure has not succeeded in denting Ukrainian resolve in the way the Russians would have intended.

“I was scared during the first or second attack but now I simply believe that our Armed Forces are guarding us,” Olena explains.

Usually, she meticulously follows the air raid sirens by hiding in her bathroom where she has emergency supplies stored.

This time, she left the hideout mid-alarm as she and her husband Olexandr followed minute-to-minute reports on social media about how the attack was developing, which saw more than 60 out of 70 Russian missiles miss their targets.

The young couple are just two of the millions of Ukrainians who have to spend hours without electricity every day.

Scheduled power cuts are enforced to ensure that everyone gets at least some electricity while the damaged system struggles to meet the demand.

Apart from candles, Olena uses several battery-powered garlands to illuminate the room. “I feel much better when there is still much light inside despite the cuts,” she says.

She also shows a portable power station that the couple uses to power their Wi-Fi router, smartphones, and laptops during the outages. Another one is on the way, while they use a small camping stove to warm up the food.

Olena says that not everyone is able to afford these devices, whose prices have jumped due to the surge in demand.

As different parts of the city lose their electricity supply, the couple has already either hosted or visited their friends during power cuts.

Olena believes she can rely on help from her friends for things she lacks, such as large gas cylinders for cooking.

Vika, whose apartment is situated on the 18th floor of a residential building in Odesa, also believes that cooperation between locals has been key.

Because her building has mostly managed to escape the outages, she and some neighbors have invited local residents whose homes have lost power to have a hot shower, wash their clothes and charge their devices.

She says that while some businesses are suffering, many stores are now equipped with generators and allow people to charge their phones and boil water.

Some of her friends who have children are considering moving to live with their relatives abroad, but nobody wants to leave. Vika is determined to stay in Odesa with her husband.

“We knew the winter would be very difficult, so many are prepared,” says Vika.

“Many suffer from the lack of light but nervous breakdowns alternate with patriotic feelings.”

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