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Homeless teenagers sleep rough in Kiev cold snap

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Homeless teenagers sleep rough in Kiev cold snap


In Kiev teenagers who had been living on the streets have set up temporary home in derelict buildings.

Some do not want to be identified and that has caused a dilemma on how to keep warm. There is no heat but they refuse to light any fires among the debris. One of them who gives her name as Sasha explained why.

“If we light a fire the smoke would be seen coming from the windows, the fire brigade and the police would come, we don’t want that,” she said.

Temperatures which have dipped to 20 degrees below freezing have claimed the lives of at least 135 says the Emergency Ministry, adding many of the dead were homeless.

Our correspondent in Kiev Angelina Kariakina said: “Even in these severe conditions street teenagers chose houses without water supply and electricity, with broken windows as their shelter, but they only spend the nights here. During the day they go to a drop-in centre for a hot shower and warm drinks.”

Healthright International, an NGO where the teenagers go to during the day has centres across Ukraine. It estimates 50,000 children live on the streets throughout the country and are at risk during the freezing conditions. Forecasters predict there will be no let up in the cold spell.

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