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Frontline Ukrainian village braces for winter after months of war



Huliaipole residents prepare for the next big battle, this winter.

Natalia, a sixty year-old woman, sleeps in her basement with her neighbors. They sleep side-by-side, with very little space between them.

They have managed to survive despite the difficult conditions and no electricity.

Natalia touched one bed and said, “I sleep here.” She pointed at the other beds and stated, “Here’s my neighbour sleeping.” There are two more neighbors. Vera is the fifth neighbor who sleeps here. That’s all for now.

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She claimed that her grandchildren were present during the initial stages Russia’s invasion of 24 February.

“The children slept against the wall, even though there were no beds back then. We brought blankets and pillows as well as carpets. We placed our children against the wall while we sat on the benches. Back then, we were under heavy bombardment.

She stated that fresh water comes from either the fire brigade or a nearby well.


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‘CONSTANT SHELLING’

Huliaipole is a Zaporizhzhia Region resident, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that he annexed at September’s end. This was condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies.

While many buildings were damaged and people fled the area, Russian forces have not occupied the village. The sound of shelling is constant and the village is under constant attack.

A white sign with a red heart welcoming visitors to the home is now pockmarked. It has a white sign that says “I (love)?” )Huliaipole”.

Benjamin, a German volunteer working with aid workers to prepare residents for winter, stated that “The winter starts and it is very frigid.”

Aid workers provided wood stoves before winter when temperatures could plummet to minus zero Celsius.

“We are constantly subject to constant shelling without heating.” Raisa Alferova, a 57-year-old paramedic, said that the conditions are very harsh and difficult for her job.

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