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Ukraine’s ‘Invincibility’ centres offer refuge, resilience


BUCHA: Retired Ukrainian construction worker Borys Markovnikov is on the move again: this time, just a few steps from his house in town presidentnorthwest of Kiev, to seek shelter and warmth at the “Invincible Point” — a help station built by the government to serve food, drink, warmth and, ultimately, resilience against the onslaught of the Russian army.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has deployed hundreds of such helpdesk stations, named after the challenge, where residents face power outages, heating and water systems that can heat, charge phones, enjoy groceries. snacks and hot drinks, even entertainment.
Markovnikov, 78, has had to move house several times. He recalls how he was evicted from his home in the eastern Donbas region after Russian-backed separatists seized territory there in 2014. Earlier this year, he fled the town of Bucha, where he lived – now famous for the massacres during the brief Russian occupation – on foot, across the front lines, to Kiev. He was then able to return home, but home is not always an easy place to live.
“My neighbors told me there was a tent with electricity and a TV, and I came to watch,” Markovnikov said, staring at Monday’s World Cup soccer match between Ghana and South Korea. Quoc, adding that he does not have electricity at home. “We still believe. Without trust, you cannot exist.”
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said Friday that nearly 1,000 such centers have been erected across the country since the program was first launched on Nov. 18. a handy online map to show the location of citizens under siege.
As of Friday, more than 67,000 people have received help from them — and more could pour in if more experts and the President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned, more Russian attacks lie ahead.
Such centers – often consisting of small, insulated tents no larger than a classroom – were deployed just in time as a series of massive air strikes by Russian forces have stripped many of the basic lives of many people. Ukrainians at home.
In essence, these hubs are a temporary solution while utility crews work to fix downed power lines and get plumbing back up and running, so homes and businesses can basic services can be restored.
Power company DTEK said the controlled blackout continued on Monday in Kyiv as a necessary step to balance the troubled power system and avoid further problems, while ensuring power. for hospitals and heat pump stations.
The company says only 42 percent of electricity is supplied to households in the city, and “we do our best to provide light to each customer for two to three hours, twice a day.”
Outside “Invincible Spot” on a promenade in front of a sports center in Bucha, teenagers had a snowball match and a guitarist plucked his instrument outside a tent Inflatable.
Inside, the kids crouched playing games Roblox on mobile phones as young people type on laptops and older women sit quietly to pass the time. A young woman hugs her dog as staff pour hot cups of tea and make honey.
The “Invincible Spot” offers a free — and public — service that replaces the many cafes and restaurants that have become hubs for internet access and the warmth of Ukrainians seeking refuge from the cold and darkness in their own homes.
Mykola Pestikov, 26, a resident of Bucha, bending over her computer, said: “When the power goes out, I have to find a place with a connection. ‘ – as of now.”
Yuri Mikhailovskiy, a firefighter who helps run the site, has produced a ledger showing that more than 1,000 people have visited the center since it was first established 10 days ago in Bucha, where most of the The houses are either short of electricity or have no electricity at all.
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