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HomeHealth & Fitness'We've learnt to do surgery without electricity': Ukraine's power cuts worsen

‘We’ve learnt to do surgery without electricity’: Ukraine’s power cuts worsen

Power supply is a matter of life and death for Tetiana’s son.

He was born with disabilities, and needs electricity-powered equipment to be able to breathe, to eat, and to receive medication.

“We are very dependent on electricity. If it wasn’t for this bloody war, life would be difficult, but we’d be able to cope,” Tetiana tells the BBC.

Ukrainians are learning to live with extended blackouts as Russia continues to pummel its energy facilities across the country.

Persistent Russian air strikes mean even previously unaffected parts of Ukraine have to go without electricity for hours on end, practically every day.

Tetiana, who lives in the southern port city of Odesa, says that the endless power cuts make life extremely difficult because she needs to make sure the supply of electricity is constant.

She has a generator which runs on petrol and needs to be topped up all the time, but it has to be stopped every six hours to cool down.

Power cuts also affect mobile phone coverage, so getting through to the ambulance service for her son can be a struggle too.

“Sometimes it takes half an hour, sometimes it’s an hour before the ambulance arrives when my child goes into convulsions and turns blue,” she says. “My son can die if he doesn’t get oxygen. I’m lost for words.”

Recent blackouts have lasted as long as 12 hours a day in Tetiana’s neighbourhood.

 

‘We’ve learnt to do surgery without electricity’: Ukraine’s power cuts worsen

5 hours ago

By Vitaly Shevchenko,

BBC Monitoring

 

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EPA A blackout in KharkivEPA

Extended blackouts are becoming increasingly common in Ukraine, as Russia targets its power grids

Power supply is a matter of life and death for Tetiana’s son.

He was born with disabilities, and needs electricity-powered equipment to be able to breathe, to eat, and to receive medication.

“We are very dependent on electricity. If it wasn’t for this bloody war, life would be difficult, but we’d be able to cope,” Tetiana tells the BBC.

Ukrainians are learning to live with extended blackouts as Russia continues to pummel its energy facilities across the country.

Persistent Russian air strikes mean even previously unaffected parts of Ukraine have to go without electricity for hours on end, practically every day.

Tetiana, who lives in the southern port city of Odesa, says that the endless power cuts make life extremely difficult because she needs to make sure the supply of electricity is constant.

She has a generator which runs on petrol and needs to be topped up all the time, but it has to be stopped every six hours to cool down.

Power cuts also affect mobile phone coverage, so getting through to the ambulance service for her son can be a struggle too.

“Sometimes it takes half an hour, sometimes it’s an hour before the ambulance arrives when my child goes into convulsions and turns blue,” she says. “My son can die if he doesn’t get oxygen. I’m lost for words.”

Recent blackouts have lasted as long as 12 hours a day in Tetiana’s neighbourhood.

 

Tetiana Tetiana’s sonTetiana

Tetiana’s son needs electricity-powered equipment to be able to breathe, to be fed and to receive medication

For millions of Ukrainians, the absence of power can mean no running water, air conditioning, lifts or access to life-saving equipment.

Over the past three months alone, Ukraine has lost nine gigawatts of generating capacity, the national energy company Ukrenergo says. This is more than a third of the capacity Ukraine had before the full-scale invasion in February 2022. It is enough to power the whole of the Netherlands during peak hours of consumption – or Slovakia, Lavtia, Lithuania and Estonia combined, Ukrenergo says.

“All state-owned thermal power plants are destroyed. All hydropower plants in our country are damaged by Russian missiles or drones,” Ukrenergo spokeswoman Maria Tsaturian tells the BBC.

The lack of generated electricity is made worse by rising temperatures in the summer, when Ukrainians turn on power-hungry air conditioning systems.

To cope with the shortfall, Ukrenergo has had to implement a policy of sweeping power cuts across the country, which last for many hours a day every day.

As a result, millions of Ukrainians have become increasingly reliant on fuel-powered generators or big power banks…

SourceBBC
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