“Every time it’s like the next level in a computer survival game. Now there is no electricity or water supply, frightened employees don’t come to work. Or they show up, but can’t stand the pressure,” writes Anna Zavertaylo, co-owner of the popular Honey cafes in Kyiv.
Since the Russian strikes on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, which started on 10 October, there have been daily power cuts in Kyiv to save energy. Anna’s business is trying to adapt. When the power is out, the confectioners wear headlamps, so they can continue making desserts.
It’s the same in many places for eating out. The Ornament cafe, after the blackouts started, initially offered a limited selection of drinks from its menu, such as filter coffee, which can be brewed in advance and stored in a thermos.
Now, after purchasing a small gas stove, all drinks are available. Kha.food, which sells Kharkiv traditional square pizza, announces its opening hours daily on social networks. The Greek restaurant Chaika warns that when there is no electricity, visitors can enjoy grilled dishes.
It is not only the catering industry that is adapting. Many units are buying diesel generators to keep them running in the event of a power cut. Kyiv businessman Ilya Kenigstein has bought a large generator to keep his business, Creative States coworking centers, running smoothly. Last week he sold out all the places for solo work, and there is a waiting list of teams who want to rent the offices.
“After the war broke out, we understood how important it was to stay here,” says Zavertaylo. “We are here to work, create and support each other. All these complications only transform our values. We have to walk this path, and they [the Russians] won’t break us.”