As Moscow freezes in a vicious cold snap, the plight of Russia’s homeless is a growing concern and deaths are commonplace.
Thermometers have been stuck at well below freezing for a number of weeks and the resilience of those without shelter is being sorely tested.
Soup kitchens offer a lifeline, but in extreme temperatures a warm place to sleep is the only answer.
In Ukraine the government has set up some 3,000 shelters nationwide, but only 10 in the capital Kiev a city of some 4 million people.
It is not just the homeless who face difficulties:
“Old people who are unable to fetch wood for the stove are simply starving and dying from the cold like in ancient times,” said one resident.
In Kiev the lucky ones get to spend the night in a tent:
“When I arrived, they offered me a seat, gave me tea and something to eat,” said one homeless man.
In the Polish city of Krakow the poor, homeless and infirm descended on the main square where they were given traditional Christmas dishes. On the same day last year 52,000 helpings were served.
There is some cause for optimism, weather forecasters predict the cold snap in the east to end on December 24.
- 1Dozens are killed and wounded in multiple suicide bomb attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport
- 2Suspected ISIL bombers kill 36 and wound dozens at Istanbul airport
- 3Italian actor Bud Spencer dies at 86
- 4Feisty Farage tells MEPs ‘You’re not laughing now’
- 5What is behind Turkey’s recent diplomatic push?
Latest world news
EU 27 meet in Brussels – and the UK is not invited
World condemns Turkey airport attack
Terror in Turkey: attack at Ataturk airport leaves 36 dead and scores injured
Suspected ISIL bombers kill 36 and wound dozens at Istanbul airport
European Union leaders speak with one voice over Istanbul airport attacks
Wires > News
- 10:00 CET India’s top court refuses to hear gay-sex ban challenge
- 09:17 CET Syria rebels battle IS at Iraqi border, aim to cut ‘caliphate’ in…
- 09:14 CET Malaysian police probe grenade attack, checking credibility of …
- 07:46 CET As Duterte takes over in Philippines, police killings stir fear
- 06:05 CET Exclusive: U.S. to upgrade Thailand in annual human trafficking…
- 02:23 CET Brazil Congress investigates lawmaker’s alleged support of torture
- 01:19 CET Dutch PM Rutte wants ‘binding’ assurances over EU’s Ukraine deal
- 00:15 CET Italy, Netherlands propose split U.N. Security Council seat for…