State-owned electric grid operator Ukrenergo has reported that at least 40 percent of the country is experiencing power difficulties, and the situation will only deteriorate faster the closer winter comes as inadequate weatherization, combined with targeted Russian strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, will cause even less electricity to be transmitted to homes.
At least 15 major energy production hubs across Ukraine have been damaged in recent weeks, prompting Ukrenergo to warn that the coming power outages could last anywhere from several hours to several days. The network added that "resilience and courage are what we need this winter." (Related: Ukraine grapples with power interruptions as winter approaches.)
Following the recent round of retaliatory strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that more than 10 million Ukrainians – or approximately a quarter of the population – were left without electricity. Although some areas of the country have seen improvements since then, the state of the overall power grid is still in dire straits.
"Russian strikes are plunging Ukraine into the Stone Age," said Anastasia Pyrozhenko, 25, a resident of a 26-story high-rise in Kyiv. In a recent 24-hour period, her building only had power for half an hour. These "military living conditions" have driven her and her husband from their apartment.
"Our building is the highest in the area and is a great target for Russian missiles, so we left our apartment for our parents' place and are preparing for the worst winter of our lives."
She and her husband now live with her parents in a small apartment in Kyiv. The family is also preparing a house they have in a village just outside of Kyiv and stocking up on firewood in case of a forced evacuation.
"We understand that winter can be long, cold and dark, but we are ready to endure," said Pyrozhenko.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that energy supply cuts, combined with an expectedly dire winter will create a "deadly cocktail" that could lead to thousands of deaths.
"This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine," said Dr. Henri Kluge, the WHO regional director for Europe.
Average winter temperatures in Ukraine are reaching 27 degrees Fahrenheit and are expected to plummet to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit in certain parts of the country.
"Put simply, this winter will be about survival," said Kluge. "Maternity wards need incubators. Blood banks need refrigerators. Intensive care beds need ventilators. And all require energy."
Worse yet, the coming winter energy crisis is expected to spill over to the rest of Europe.
The refugee crisis caused by the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine resulted in about 7.6 million Ukrainian refugees spreading all over Europe, excluding some 6.9 million internally displaced people, or Ukrainians forced to flee their homes but remained in the country.
The WHO noted that the coming winter is expected to add to the already massive displacement of people within Ukraine and the movement of refugees to other countries. At least two to three million people are expected to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety. They are expected to either become internally displaced or to flee to other, wealthier European countries.
Learn more about how the coming winter will affect different countries, including the United States, at PowerGrid.news.
Watch this clip from Newsmax discussing how Ukrainian saboteurs are destroying targets deep inside Russia, giving the country a reason to retaliate.