Ukrainian villages brace for winter with no power

STORY: After eight months of war, residents in the Ukrainian village of Huliaipole are preparing for their next battle: the approaching winter.

Huliaipole is located in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Russia says it has annexed. The village has been hit by shelling.

Russian forces have not occupied the village, but conditions are tough and there is no electricity.

Local resident 60-year-old Natalia now lives in a basement with some of her neighbors.

Although cramped, she says the basement has helped them survive. This is where they sleep.

With so much infrastructure hammered by Russian air strikes, the cold and snow has been long feared in the war.

Aid workers have provided wood stoves before winter, when temperatures often plunge far below freezing.

Fresh water is provided by the fire brigade or is drawn from a local well.

Villagers do have gas, but Natalia says they have to save it.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that more than 4.5 million are already without power.

Energy providers have implemented rolling blackouts to prevent an overload.

Whilst they race to carry out essential repairs.

Serhii Batalov is a gas repair worker.

He has been carrying out works in a village located around 3 miles from the Kherson frontline.

Residents in the village say they had no gas for around three months.

“We work under different conditions, including under shelling," he says.

He just tries to do it as fast and as efficiently as he can.