Candlelit dinners and grocery shopping in the dark: Life goes on for Ukrainians amid power outages

Candlelit dinners and grocery shopping in the dark: Life goes on for Ukrainians amid power outages

Updated: 27 days, 21 hours, 28 minutes, 2 seconds ago
Blackouts continue throughout Ukraine amid Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.Hundreds of thousands of people were left without water and power after a Monday barrage.Photos show how Ukrainians are adjusting to life increasingly in the dark. For more stories visit Business Insider.

About 80% of people in Kyiv were left without water on Monday following a devastating barrage of Russian missile and drone strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure that left scores of people across the country without power as well.

Government officials on Tuesday said water had been fully restored, but some 20,000 apartments in the Kyiv region remained in the dark — an increasingly common reality for many Ukrainians as Russia targets the country's energy and power sources in an effort to freeze the country out as autumn turns to winter.

The Monday assault is the latest attack on Ukraine's energy sources since Russian forces began launching a series of airstrikes on power stations and gas and water supplies starting in early October. 

Ukraine has said it continues to shoot down the majority of Russian missiles, but officials said the ones that make it through have caused lasting damage to nearly 40% of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, according to The Associated Press.

But for many Ukrainians, the unpredictable blackouts are just one more side effect of more than eight months at war. And life goes on — even in the dark.

Hundreds of thousands of people throughout Ukraine were without power and water on Monday following a Russian barrage.

The city's water supply was fully restored as of Tuesday, and utility crews continued to work on power outages, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

But rolling blackouts were expected to continue in Kyiv and parts of Kharkiv in order to "reduce the load on the networks" following the spate of recent attacks, Ukraine's electricity-transmission-system operator said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Russian attacks started triggering outages throughout Ukraine in early October.

Yaroslav Vedmid, a 44-year-old Ukrainian business owner in Bilohorodka, told the Associated Press that the power cuts are growing longer — up to almost 12 hours a day.

"When you're relying on electricity, the worst thing is that you can't plan … Psychologically, it's very uncomfortable," he told the outlet. 

Hours without power have made work difficult for business owners in Bucha and beyond.

Energy companies have begun publishing daily schedules for expected outages, but the system is far from reliable.

An uptick in Russian attacks have hindered energy companies' efforts to prepare people for blackouts, the AP reported. But as the unpredictable blackouts become increasingly common, Ukrainians are learning how to live in the new normal.

People prepare meals by candlelight.

And gather to share meals near a flame.

But a sudden demand for candles and other remedies have left shortages in certain regions.

Residents are stocking up on heaters, generators, blankets, candles, and other tools ahead of winter, according to the AP.

The power outages mean many are left without internet service or other forms of communication.

While unreliable connection can be frustrating for many, Vedmin's wife Olena told the AP that she's begun reading during the outages as opposed to checking the internet for updates on the war, which has helped her anxiety.

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday delivered his nightly video address in the dark.

The president addressed the Ukrainian people as "warriors of light."

"We are not afraid of the dark," Zelensky said. "The darkest times for us are not without light, but without freedom."

Ukrainian officials have indicated that the blackouts and attacks are unlikely to end anytime soon.

But Zelensky had a pointed message for their Russian foes in his Monday speech.

"Russian terrorists do not have such missiles that could hit the Ukrainian desire to live," the Ukrainian president said. "There will be a response on the battlefield.

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