Despite the new Russian barrage, the resilience of Ukrainians persists. WGN Radio 720

Kyiv, UKRAINE (AP) — When massive and coordinated Russian artillery bombardment shook cities and towns across Ukraine a week ago, sparking a new phase in the Kremlin wars, a single strike threw popular Kyiv A large crater was left in the children’s playground of the city, and the central intersection was torn out. .

The next day, life in the capital returned to near-normal as cars flooded the freshly asphalted roads. Russia’s response to the new wave of attacks was to get back to work, take a walk in the warm autumn sun, and harvest the final harvest from summer gardens.

A similar scene unfolded that day in Dnipro, a city in central Ukraine. This time, city officials spent the night repairing roads after they were destroyed by artillery fire in a coordinated attack.

“We gritted our teeth and worked all night,” Dnipro mayor Boris Filatov wrote on Facebook the day after the Oct. 10 attacks. The post included before and after photos of where the strike occurred and repairs that were completed.

“We will restore and rebuild everything. But our hatred will live on for centuries,” he said.

Ukrainians in the war nearly eight months ago, despite an increase in attacks seen by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a vengeful reaction to an explosion that damaged a bridge leading to the Crimea annexed by the Kremlin. remains unwavering in its resilience. October 8th.

Russian missiles and Iranian-made drones struck at least 10 areas across the country two days later, targeting critical infrastructure such as power plants and water supplies in major cities. 19 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in the deadliest attack since the Russian invasion began on 24 February.

Suicide drones loaded with explosives hit Kyiv again on Monday, evacuating residents.

This is an enhanced version of Russian tactical changes aimed at making life more difficult for Ukrainians, especially those far from the front lines.

But the more the Kremlin threatens to make the coming winter intolerable, the more Ukrainians seem united in their intention to defeat Putin.

The Ukrainian government has called for a reduction in energy consumption nationwide and has implemented rolling blackouts in some areas as damaged power plants and facilities are being repaired.

State-owned energy company Uklenergo reported on October 15 that residents of the Kyiv region have reduced their average daily electricity consumption by 7%, helping power companies avoid forced blackouts.

“This is a direct result of the fact that Ukrainians intentionally limited their use of electrical appliances in the evening,” the company said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Danilo, a 20-year-old Kyiv student, said he used less electricity at home.

Danilo, who declined to give his last name, added that “working for a common victory is the trend right now.”

Similar resilience can be seen from the devastation and ruin along the front lines in eastern and southern Ukraine.

After withdrawing from eastern areas like Kharkov, Russia attacks Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, and surrounding towns almost every night as Ukrainian counterattacks are steadily gaining ground on the partially occupied southern flank. are concentrated.

Of all the regions of Ukraine that have paid a high price in the war, the Saltyvka district on the northeastern edge of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, bears some of the heaviest costs.

About a third of Kharkiv’s 1.4 million inhabitants once lived in residential blocks in this area. But when the Russian army began to invade, they swept out and reached the edge of the neighborhood, pounding it with rockets and artillery. Dozens were killed.

Saltivka, especially its northern ranges, were bombarded for months until few buildings remained without significant damage, leaving vast swaths of the area virtually uninhabitable. Tens of thousands were forced to flee.

Those left hover like ghosts among the charred skeletons of what was once one of Ukraine’s largest residential areas. Despite what they have lost, many say they will not compromise with Russia to stop the fighting.

“There is no Ukraine without victory,” said Frikhori Ivanovich, 67, who reconstructed the brick wall of the balcony and the front half of the living room that were destroyed by Russian rockets. “There are no compromises, only victory for Ukraine.”

But for those who have lost loved ones in war, maintaining such determination is more difficult.

Lyubov Mamedova, whose son was killed in a Russian mine earlier this month, said he signed eager to fight at the beginning of the war, confident that Ukraine would defeat the invaders.

Mamedova, crying, said Ukraine must continue to defend its freedom and that it was important to her son.

“We will fight,” she said. “He always said, ‘Victory is ours.'”

While many Ukrainians maintain a firm resolve to drive Russia out by military means, others believe a political solution must be sought to end the bloodshed.

Oleh Postavnychyi, 39, was fetching water in plastic bottles from a public tap in the courtyard near her home in Saltivka.

Postavnychyi said a diplomatic solution was needed to stop the violence, but not a solution like ceding Ukrainian land.

“Neither (the Russians) nor we need this war, so we need to find a middle ground,” he said. “Ordinary people should not suffer … but we cannot give them our territory. These are our territories. Conquered.”


Spike reported from Kharkov, Ukraine.


Follow AP’s war coverage at Despite the new Russian barrage, the resilience of Ukrainians persists. WGN Radio 720

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