Blackout 47 hours+1 hour of light+12 hours of darkness.
We are having a second blackout. Kyiv, the right bank, 19−20 December. The city is in darkness. For the second day, the power has been out in the apartment. The refrigerator is now a regular cabinet, nobody is expecting to get food from there anymore. The food is out on the balcony. The freezer lasted for a long time. During the first blackout (almost 50 hours without electricity), all the frozen berries, vegetables, mushrooms, and frozen prepared foods (small dumplings, large dumplings, stuffed blintzes) had to be thrown out. It’s interesting how in these conditions one doesn’t even feel hungry. It’s as if someone is thinking: we had to eat everything. This time we quickly and promptly remembered fish and dough. Nothing else of value.
No connection. Not only Wi-Fi, but also mobile Internet disappears after a long-term blackout in the entire district. It makes no sense to call someone, the mobile connection either completely disappears or is so sporadic that it’s better not to call at all. Because otherwise, the person on the other end of the line may not understand anything at all and may think that something really bad has happened.
Bottles with water are everywhere imaginable, in every available space in the apartment. Because one needs to be able to flush the toilet and wash hair.
Even the presence of cold water is a cause for celebration. You can wash dishes or some of them. In the dark. It’s good when one has a gas stove-then you can warm up some water. But it’s a real misfortune for those who have electric stoves.
The batteries are barely warm but not cold. That’s not too bad. It’s like a guarantee that the boiler room has not been destroyed. We are waiting.
The biggest problems are in the high-rise apartment buildings. They have no gas at all. The elevator is not working, there is no electricity, it’s not possible to cook food or warm up water. There is no water in the sink at all because the pipes are not working. Sewage is not functioning, again because of pipes. The toilet is «closed.»
The whole city rumbles with the sound of generators, people go to work and to stores, meet with others, the children go to school. Leave notes for one another. Agree to «be there.» Even if there will be no electricity and they won’t be able to call.
We buy food for one or two days at a time. However, one can buy almost anything and almost anywhere. Everything is fresh, no fighting about spoiled products. If a store cannot guarantee refrigeration, they tell you upfront.
At the supermarkets and the shopping centers (in the lobby, the main hall, near the elevators), people sit on chairs or simply on the floor near the electrical sockets. They are charging gadgets, flashlights, some are working on their laptops. Everyone is quiet and well-behaved. Some are smiling, others are focused. There is no despair, quarrels, or accusations.
We live. We work, socialize, resolve what is possible to resolve.
Thanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, thanks to the Air Defense Forces. When you are sitting on the floor in the hallway (two walls) and feel the explosions, you know that they are concerned about you. That over there, beyond the window, an air fight is happening. That they are protecting you: shooting down that junk that is carrying destruction and death. And that gives you strength, when the air alert is canceled, to go care for others.
And there is not a single word, not one, about giving up. Never! We will win. We already won.
Translated by Natalya Barden