Between bombs and candlelight
In the past four weeks, Russia has increasingly targeted Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. Including combined heat and power plants and water supply. The result is that large parts of the country are repeatedly cut off from electricity and water. In the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the supply of electricity and water is now rationed. Both are only available part of the time and people's fear of winter is palpable. The situation is similar in large parts of the country. How will it go on? One conceivable scenario is the evacuation of the metropolis, but there doesn't seem to be a master plan yet. This is also due to the course of the war and the randomness of the Russian attacks.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko brought up the evacuation of the capital. In the event of a blackout, when the city's supply cannot be guaranteed over a longer period of time, there seems to be no alternative. Citizens are already being asked to temporarily leave Kyiv. The further west you look, the safer the supply seems to be at the moment. Whether and how this recommendation will be accepted is currently not foreseeable. A large stream of refugees from the city is at least not noticeable. Public spaces that are supplied autonomously are therefore set up for brief outages. Electricity and heat are available there for citizens. Both are an enormous logistical effort, and it is to be hoped that the planning security of Ukrainian politicians is sufficient. Even without a war it would be a challenge.
Meanwhile, Russia doesn't care about the humanitarian situation. The bombing of Ukrainian cities continues, and the intensity is noticeably increasing. More and more reports of catastrophic fates are appearing. Russia's target is explicitly the Ukrainian civilian population. They should be broken in their resistance. These tactics of terrorism against the civilian population must not be watched idly.
Western arms deliveries could remedy the situation. Air defense systems such as the German IRIS-T can effectively protect the Ukrainian civilian population. Especially in winter, when the temperatures will slow down what is happening at the front, an increased danger situation for Ukrainian cities can be assumed. So far, the deliveries have not been sufficient to effectively stop the massive shelling of the critical infrastructure. The damage done is too great. Repairing the structures is too tedious and time-consuming.
So far, the people of Ukraine have been calm about the situation. Pictures of improvised cooking places and food storage rooms make the rounds. They sit together by candlelight. They want to show that the civilian population cannot be defeated. Neither by bombs on their houses nor on the critical infrastructure. Time will tell what extent this will still be possible in winter. Either way, Ukrainian politics must find a response to Russian terrorism.
Chief correspondence eastern Europe Freedom Today