10 Million Ukrainians Without Power in The Barren Cold Due to Russian Strikes


Yuriy Dyachyshyn

A Ukrainian soldier in uniform supports a fellow citizen in times of need.

As of December 13, half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been demolished. This means 10 million Ukrainian people—about 25% of their current population—are without power due to Russian attacks. While some of the power is still down as a result of freezing weather conditions, this substantial loss of electricity comes from recent strikes to critical infrastructure in cities such as Kyiv.

Although power outages create problems any time of year, Ukrainians are at an increased risk during the winter. The frigid weather increases the possibility of becoming ill and hypothermic without proper protection from the cold.

Due to the missile strikes, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” over its repeated attacks on significant Ukrainian infrastructure. This accusation is just one of many Russia has received globally as well as from the Ukrainian government.

Ukrainians affected by the power outages caused by Russia’s latest strike must now also relocate, seeking asylum in wealthier, unaffected European countries. The citizens lucky enough to maintain stable power in Ukraine have now reduced their energy intake, a necessary measure to preserve the stability of the country’s energy system.

As the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues, Upper School students at Latin have come together to do what they can.

Sophomore Kate Malaisrie decorated cards for Ukrainian children. “I felt unsure of what I could do from so far away without money, but through this, I knew a child would have a smile on their face after reading the motivational messages,” she said.

Sophomore Valerie Mizerk-Thorrens donated her old clothes to Ukrainian refugee children. “I had no use for old coats and boots that didn’t fit me,” she said, “so giving it away made sense anyways, but the fact I could help those struggling so easily was surprising.”

Many students have found ways to aid in this global crisis, but many still feel unable to lend a helping hand.

Sophomore Lucy Baer said, “It can feel impossible to find ways to realistically support the people in need from so far away from the crisis.”

Although it may seem difficult to support Ukraine, there are plenty of things you can do. Here are some ways you can lend a helping hand to those in need:

Support refugees. Many Ukrainians have immigrated from a place of danger and instability. Simply be a kind friend and do your best to be a shoulder to lean on when they need help.

Reach out to Tim Cronister, Latin’s Director of Student Life, at [email protected]. Since May, he has provided opportunities to tutor Ukrainian refugees. Mr. Cronister regularly updates students on community engagement opportunities.

Donate. While this may not be possible for all, every small donation helps. UNICEF USA accepts online donations, as does Global Giving, UN NEWS and other non-profit organizations. Other ways to help include donating spare clothes, food products, and unopened, over-the-counter medicines.

There are countless ways to reach out to Ukrainians in your community. You can be of help without needing to donate money, and your efforts can offer tremendous help and emotional support in a challenging time.