Ukraine War: As winter chill hits Scotland, Ukrainians face 'unliveable' conditions because of Vladimir Putin's attacks on civilian infrastructure – Steve Cardownie
While most of us have access to some form of heating, this is not the case for people who are suffering from unbearable cold due to Moscow’s continued attacks on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine.
Many Ukrainians will choose to tough it out but, for others, there will be no choice but to do so and face the dire and, for many, life-threatening consequences. Commentators throughout the world have condemned the Russian tactic of targeting Ukrainian power facilities – attacks which provide scant, if any, military advantage and appear nothing less than an attempt to beat the Ukrainian population into submission.With millions of people being left without heat, clean water or power amid dropping temperatures, the numbers fleeing the country are set to rise even further.
Nearly eight million people have left Ukraine for other parts of Europe already and the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council has warned that another wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees could make their way to Europe because of “unliveable” conditions. Jan Egeland told Reuters: “Nobody knows how many, but there will be hundreds of thousands more as the horrific and unlawful bombing of civilian infrastructure makes life unliveable in too many places.” Largely comprising of women and children, they will face a hazardous journey to places of safety but will nevertheless strive to find refuge.
For those that are left the outlook is rather grim, particularly for the residents of outlying villages and towns where respite from the freezing temperatures will be harder to find. Aware of the additional deprivations that the population of Ukraine now face, the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said: “If Russia conducts a withdrawal of its forces from Ukraine, then it will also ensure a reliable end of hostilities. I see no reason why Russia should not do this now – in time for Christmas.”
Here's hoping that his words do not fall on deaf ears but even the most optimistic observer will not be holding their breath. After all, rational behaviour and Vladimir Putin do not go hand in hand.