In the Kharkhiv region, it is only now – months of intense Russian bombardment down the line – that Ukrainian electrical engineers can begin reconnecting the power grid. FRANCE 24's Andrew Hilliar, Elena Volochine and Abdelkader Dermas visited a village near the front line where barely a single home was left undamaged during the fighting.
Barely 10km from the Russian border, these electrical engineers are trying to repair a substation that was damaged in a bombardment.
This entire zone was on the front line, until the Ukrainian army recaptured it in September. For more than five months, villages here suffered heavy bombardment.
Every day, engineers with the Kharkiv region's electrical supplier put their lives on the line in freezing conditions to bring power back to the area.
Oleksandr Ganous is one of these engineers. "Given the current weather conditions, in areas where we're able to, we'll only be able to fix the electrical distribution networks closer to summer. A lot of our infrastructure is near the Russian border. We can't go there because the Ukrainian military won't let us," he says.
In this village, two thousand people lived here before the war, but now there are only twenty five remaining. They live amid the ruins and survive with the help of humanitarian aid sent from abroad.
Click on the video player above to watch the full report.
Read more on FRANCE 24 English
French defence minister pledges ‘common’ approach to supporting Ukraine war effort
Putin bans Russian oil exports to countries that impose price cap
From the war in Ukraine to the death of Queen Elizabeth II: The top news stories of 2022