Water, power outages scare Ukraine kidney patients

STORY: Outages, caused by Russian air strikes on Ukraine's infrastructure, can last for hours at a time as Halytska and 27 other patients lie tied to their dialysis machines in hospital in Obukhiv, a city south of Kyiv.

The power cuts hit pumping stations - a particularly worry for the patients whose treatments use hundreds of liters of running water. Medics do their best. But sometimes the pipes run dry and they have to curtail the life-saving treatments.

"It's a war and there's nothing we can do about it," 65-year-old Halytska said from her hospital bed.

Russia stepped up attacks on power plants, substations and other targets in mid-October amid numerous battlefield setbacks following its Feb. 24 invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that around 40% of the country's energy infrastructure has been seriously damaged.

Stable power is crucial for the patients in Obukhiv Central District Hospital, where each haemodialysis session can last for hours and use around 300 liters of running water.

But the outages keep coming, caused by direct strikes on infrastructure and the rolling blackouts imposed by energy providers to ease pressure on the grid and carry out repairs.

Vitalii Vlasiuk, deputy governor of the Kyiv region in charge of healthcare, said around 60 hospitals in his area had been damaged in attacks, and twice as many affected in some way by Russia's invasion.