‘There may be no light for a very long time’: Ukrainians face a massive test of survival this winter

Over 10 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the start of the war, but many of those who stayed — particularly in the south and east of the country — have already been pushed to the limits of their resilience.

Daily life has become a test of survival for many, with basic necessities such as water, food and medical provisions becoming scarce. Russia has also continued to pound the country’s energy infrastructure; around 10 million people in Ukraine currently have no power as a result of Russian strikes on energy facilities over recent weeks.

As winter sets in — with dwindling daylight hours and temperatures set to plummet as low -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) — officials are warning of widespread shortages of energy and heat.

Power has become particularly scarce, with energy use rationed and scheduled (and, lately, unscheduled) daily blackouts imposed in many parts of the country.

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