‘We have our dog to keep us warm’

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Ukrainian authorities are scrambling to restore electricity supplies in Kyiv after Russian drone attacks crippled energy infrastructure earlier this week. FRANCE 24’s team on the ground met with residents deprived of both light and heating as they grapple with winter temperatures.

The situation remains critical in the Ukrainian capital, with entire neighbourhoods forced to endure rolling blackouts as the limited power supplies are rationed.

Those affected include Karina Samokhvalova, a volunteer war crimes investigator who relies on a fuel-powered generator to light her home for short spells – at the cost of around 1,000 grivnas (25 euros) for an hour of electricity.

Once the fuel runs dry, the generator shuts off, and Samokhvalova’s home is plunged back into darkness.

“The blackouts are completely unpredictable. We never know what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russian soldiers have got planned,” she says. “When there’s no electricity, there’s nothing. The water pump needs electricity to work. The gas boiler also needs power. We can’t do anything, we’re completely helpless.”

Despite their hardships, Samokhvalova and her mother refuse to give up hope.

“It’s a lot harder for those who are in the trenches right now,” says Samokhvalova, whose generator gives her just enough time to watch an online replay of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to the US Congress this week. “We have light in our souls. We have our dog to keep us warm. We’ll get through it.”

Click on the video player above to view the full report. 

Read more analysis on the war in Ukraine © France Médias Monde graphic studio

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