Long lines of hopeful shoppers outside food stores in Kyiv wanting to stock up with supplies
Long lines of hopeful shoppers outside food stores in Kyiv wanting to stock up with supplies
Photo: AFP
Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv

As war intensifies, Ukrainians fear being cut off food

Ynet correspondent describes locals scrambling for food supplies as store shelves remain empty; his partner says shortages this extreme have not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union

Edward Docks |
Published: 03.02.22, 10:47
As Russia intensifies its attacks in Ukraine, food is becoming in increasingly short supply, with local residents spending hours in line outside stores hoping to stock up.
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  • The lines were long even before the Russian invasion began but after a weekend long curfew in Kyiv, they became much more extreme.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    (Photo: EPA)
    My neighbor Yuri, a pensioner, volunteered to stand in line for me so that I could write my column for Ynet but after two hours, when it was our turn to enter the store, my partner Svetlana took over for him.
    "One person walks out, and another is allowed in," she told me upon her return home. "The scenes I witnessed were grim. The egg fridge was bare, and the socket was disconnected from power, there was no bread, cheese or milk and the shelves for oil was nearly empty," she said.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Long lines of hopeful shoppers outside food stores in Kyiv wanting to stock up with supplies
    Long lines of hopeful shoppers outside food stores in Kyiv wanting to stock up with supplies
    Long lines of hopeful shoppers outside food stores in Kyiv wanting to stock up with supplies
    (Photo: AFP)
    Svetlana bought a few packets of concentrated milk, but there was no meat to be had.
    "I managed to get yeast to bake bread, two packets of frozen dough, frozen dumplings, and the last pieces of yellow cheese," she said.
    "I was at a loss. This is exactly how things were in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the fall of the Soviet Union when stores were empty, and food was scarce," she said.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    (Photo: EPA)
    On Tuesday, things were not much better in the biggest store near our house.
    There was a long line outside the bakery section, and each shopper was able to buy one warm loaf.
    In addition to food, cigarettes were gone, and the military banned the sale of alcohol, beer and even soft drinks.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    Store shelves and fridges bare amid food crisis in Kyiv
    (Photo: EPA)
    "We have no idea when supplies will arrive," Nadia, the shop salesperson, told me.
    "We had restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, but food flowed to the shops on a regular basis. Today we are at war. There is a shortage of fuel and roadblocks are everywhere, causing major logistical problems," she said.
    "After the city came under the Russian strike on Tuesday, we are left with more uncertainty."

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