Some three million Ukrainians in Kyiv shifted into survival mode Thursday, after new Russian missile strikes plunged the capitol city—and much of the rest of the country—into the cold and dark and dried up the water taps.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said about 70% of the Ukrainian capital was without power on Thursday. He posted on Telegram that power engineers “are doing their best ” to restore electricity. In the early afternoon he announced that water supplies had been restored across the capital, but he warned that “some consumers may still experience low water pressure.”
In the meantime, some people lined up at public water points to fill plastic bottles while others resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes. Friends and family members exchanged messages to find out who had electricity and water back. Many gathered at cafes and anywhere else a light was shining.
Missile strikes on Monday killed at least 20 people across Ukraine, driving people into underground shelters.
But citizens who spoke to reporters remained defiant. “Nobody will compromise their will and principles just for electricity,” 34-year-old Alina Dubeiko told the Associated Press, adding that she’d rather be without power than live under Russian rule.
Western leaders are denouncing the strikes upon Ukrainian utilities. “Strikes against civilian infrastructures are war crimes and cannot go unpunished,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Wednesday.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov acknowledged Thursday that it targeted Ukrainian energy facilities, but he said they were linked to Ukraine’s military command and control system and that the aim was to disrupt flows of Ukrainian troops, weapons and ammunition to front lines.
Russian invasion of its sovereign neighbor crossed the nine-month mark on Thursday.