Ukraine war: In Bakhmut, locals face bombs, power cuts and freezing temperatures

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Locals living near the frontline in eastern Ukraine are having to contend with war, power cuts and near-freezing temperatures. 

That’s the case in Bakhmut, Donetsk, a city that is under Kyiv’s control which Russian forces have laid siege to in recent weeks. 

With no power and temperatures set to drop well below zero in the coming weeks, volunteers have been shipping in wood stoves to help locals survive.

“The cold weather brings diseases, flu, especially for the elderly who are weaker and there is no more medicine here,” said Yura Sokorov, a Ukrainian volunteer.

Further from the frontline in Sloviansk, about 50 kilometres away, locals are also without gas or electricity. 

Russian forces bombed the city’s thermal power station in September, cutting power to tens of thousands of inhabitants.

The local hospital is also without heating but two large wood stoves are being installed and should be operational by next week.

“We can build all we want but they can still hit us,” said the director of the hospital, Valentyna Glushenko.

Elsewhere in Sloviansk, Ludmilla Abramenko and her family rely on wood distributed by the municipality to heat themselves, but they don’t have a stove indoors. She sleeps full clothed and the family wraps themselves in blankets to stave off the cold.

She said that even in her worst nightmares should didn’t imagine this situation.