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22-01-2024 | Latest News , Europe & Central Asia

Ukraine: Thousands of families near the frontline receive heating materials to protect against harsh winter conditions

Thousands of families living in front-line areas are exposed to freezing temperatures, especially given that vital utilities such as water and electricity have been hard-hit by ongoing hostilities.

Jurg Eglin, ICRC’s Head of Delegation in Ukraine, said: "The struggle we are witnessing in rural and front-line communities is immense. The fighting has already forced thousands to flee. Those who remain face sub-zero temperatures, including the most vulnerable, children, people with disabilities and the elderly."

The ICRC supported some 28,200 people (10,600 families) with cash, briquettes, firewood, or other essential items like stoves to help them keep warm this winter. The ICRC provided 5,147 tons of solid fuel to front-line and hard-to-reach areas, while quick-fix materials were distributed to help maintain family homes seriously damaged by ongoing hostilities. Earlier in 2023, more than 353,000 people in conflict-affected areas across the country were supported with cash to cover their varying needs.

Ahead of winter, the ICRC stepped up its response to support district heating companies, power plants and electrical infrastructure serving around 1.6 million people in affected areas. The support consisted of providing transformers, generators and undergoing repair work to public utility companies. 

"The ICRC is one of few humanitarian actors able to assist communities in hard-to-reach areas, but this is not enough," Mr. Eglin said. "The protections conveyed by international humanitarian law (IHL) to civilians and civilian infrastructure they rely on – including electricity, water and heating infrastructure – must be respected at all times."

For more information, please contact:

Achille Després, ICRC Kyiv (English, French, Italian) +380 50 324 31 80,

Oleksandr Vlasenko, ICRC Kyiv (Ukrainian, Russian, English) +380 95 262 80 23,


Length: 1:20

Location: Ukraine

Date Of Filming: 22.01.2024

Camera: Polina Riabtseva, Veronika Lobanska, Anna Zhovnirenko

Producer: Francisco Pavon

Editor: Anna Bilous

Copyright: ICRC access all

On Screen Credit: ICRC written or logo


An ICRC convoy is en route to the community of Lyman, in the Donetsk region, about 15 km of the frontline.


In the Zaporizhzhia region, south of Ukraine, villagers gather around an ICRC truck to receive briquettes for the winter.


Staff members of the ICRC are unloading and distributing briquettes to civilians in Lyman, within the Donetsk region.


ICRC staff and volunteers unloading mattresses and blankets to deliver in the Chernihiv region.


ICRC staff interacting with villagers of communities in Lyman, Donetsk region.


Villagers of the community of Marinka hromada, close to the frontline in the Donetsk region picking up briquettes for the winter.


Donation and delivery of blankets, heating stoves, and lamps to the Novoraisk community in the Kherson region.


Images from Dmytrivka and Solonchaky, in the Mykolaiv region, show civilians using bricks as fuel to stay warm.


ICRC trucks in Mykolaiv region.


Duration : 1m 20s
Size : 41.3 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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