The decision to turn off gas supplies to several European countries via Ukraine is already taking its toll on ordinary people. In Bulgaria, thousands spent a freezing night without heating. Dozens of schools have also shut because of the sub-zero temperatures, with others switching to alternative means. Teacher Antoaneta Dimitrova said: ‘‘The school management has given us electric heaters and we have one in our room. We’ve turned it on, because the children can’t write and study in the cold wearing their jackets.’‘In Hungary, the government has put a limit on the amount of gas some companies can use. At Budapest International airport they’ve switched to oil heating. So far, no flights have been disrupted, but the oil is only a reserve.
In Bosnia, officials say thousands also spent the night without gas. With freezing temperatures, most electrical heaters in the capital Sarajevo were sold with hours of the cut. “I think our state should have done more to protect the population. Other countries have alternative supplies. We don’t have anything,’‘ said this Bosnian man. Like Hungary, Bosnia is almost completely reliant on Russian gas.