With the enemy close and tensions high, some vigilantism emerged. Residents beat an apparently intoxicated man who had started a fire with a cigarette.

The deputy mayor, Oleksandr Marchenko, said in an interview that Russians were closing in from three sides about six miles outside town, pointing to smoke from burning villages nearby. An outdoor market was reduced to a tangle of twisted sheet metal from obliterated stalls. In one backyard, a body lay under a sheet beside a fresh shell crater.

The fighting in the countryside between the Donbas towns, in contrast, has been a war of small steps that Ukrainian forces say are mostly in their favor. Soldiers are still dying every day, but Russia’s once-punishing artillery barrages targeting front lines have petered out, compared to their earlier furious pace.

On a recent, sweltering summer morning, Sgt. Serhiy Tyshchenko walked a warren of trenches dug into a tree line, tracing his troops’ slow advance on a southern rim of the eastern front line.

The focal point of the war has moved elsewhere, he said. “Our position is not a priority for us or for them,” he said.

He advanced by sending troops crawling on their stomachs at night among the roots and leaves of acacia trees, along three parallel tree lines beside wheat fields. Each time, they dug new trenches, gradually pushing back the Russians.

When he reached the former Russian line, a panorama of garbage emerged: Water bottles, empty cans of fish, plastic bags and discarded ammunition boxes lay everywhere. Flies buzzed about.

“They don’t care” said Sergeant Tyshchenko, “because it’s not their country.”

Yurii Shyvala contributed reporting from Sloviansk and Bakhmut, Ukraine, Maria Varenikova from Kyiv, Ukraine, Emma Bubola from London, Anastasia Kuznietsova from Mantua, Italy, and Alan Yuhas from New York.

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From subway stations to shopping malls, Taiwan prepares its air-raid shelters

TAIPEI, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Taiwan is preparing its air-raid shelters as rising tension with China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raise new fears about the possibility of a Chinese attack on the democratic island.

China considers Taiwan its territory and has increased military activity in the air and seas around it. Taiwan vows to defend itself and has made strengthening its defences a priority, with regular military and civil defence drills. read more

The preparations include designating shelters where people can take cover if Chinese missiles start flying in, not in purpose-built bunkers but in underground spaces like basement car parks, the subway system and subterranean shopping centres.

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The capital of Taipei has more than 4,600 such shelters that can accommodate some 12 million people, more than four times its population.

Harmony Wu, 18, was surprised to learn that an underground shopping concourse where she and other youngsters were recently rehearsing some dance moves would be turned into an air-raid shelter in the event of war.

But she said she could understand why.

“Having shelter is very necessary. We don’t know when a war might come and they are to keep us safe,” Wu said at the venue near a Taipei subway station.

“War is brutal. We’ve never experienced it so we aren’t prepared,” she said.

Taipei officials have been updating their database of designated shelters, putting their whereabouts on a smartphone app and launching a social media and poster campaign to make sure people know how to find their closest one.

Shelter entrances are marked with a yellow label, about the size of an A4 piece of paper, with the maximum number of people it can take.

A senior official in the city office in charge of the shelters said events in Europe had brought a renewed sense of urgency.

“Look at the war in Ukraine,” Abercrombie Yang, a director of the Building Administration Office, told Reuters.

“There’s no guarantee that the innocent public won’t get hit,” he said, adding that that was why the public had to be informed.

“All citizens should have crisis awareness … We need the shelters in the event of an attack by the Chinese communists.”

‘NOT STRESSED’

Last month, Taiwan held a comprehensive air-raid exercise across the island for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted regular drills.

Among the instructions citizens got in case of incoming missiles was to get down in their basement parking lots with their hands covering their eyes and ears while keeping their mouths open – to minimise the impact of blast waves.

Some civil defence advocates say more needs to be done.

Authorities are required by law to keep the shelters clean and open but they don’t have to be stocked with supplies like food and water.

Researchers in parliament called in June for shelters to be provided with emergency supplies.

Wu Enoch of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party says the public must prepare survival kits to take with them when they seek shelter.

“What’s important is what you bring with you, for people to stay there for a long period of time,” Wu said, citing medical supplies and even tools to build a makeshift toilet.

After decade of sabre-rattling across the Taiwan Strait separating the democratic island from China, many Taiwan people appear resigned to living with the threat of a Chinese invasion.

“I’m not stressed. I carry on with my life as usual. When it happens, it happens,” said Teresa Chang, 17, who was also going through her paces at the underground dance practice.

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Reporting by Yimou Lee, Fabian Hamacher and Ann Wang; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Emerson Marks ENERGY STAR® Award with Smart Thermostat Promotion to Ameren Missouri Customers

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In celebration of Emerson’s Sensi™ smart thermostat being named the first smart thermostat to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award, St. Louis companies Emerson and Ameren Missouri are teaming up to offer consumers special, energy-saving technology.

Through this latest collaboration, Ameren Missouri customers can receive an energy savings bundle that includes both a Sensi smart thermostat and an Emporia smart plug for only $1 plus required sales tax.

“Sensi is the first thermostat to win this recognition from ENERGY STAR, and we’re proud to partner with Ameren Missouri to ensure customers across the state can benefit from this smart, sustainable technology at very little cost,” said Jamie Froedge, executive president of Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions business. “We’re proud to help consumers use energy more efficiently while saving money and having even greater control over their personal comfort, no matter the temperature outside.”

Emerson’s Sensi smart thermostat helps customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint by heating and cooling homes more efficiently through features like flexible scheduling, remote access via the mobile app and geofencing to help automatically adjust their temperature when they’re away. The Sensi smart thermostat does not require a common wire, is easy to install and integrates with all major smart home platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and SmartThings.

“More and more customers are looking to smart thermostats as a way to conserve energy and save money on their bill,” said Tony Lozano, director of energy solutions Ameren Missouri. “We’re proud to partner with companies like Emerson that are committed to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, and we’re excited to help our customers get an easy-to-install Sensi smart thermostat at such a reduced cost.”

The Sensi thermostat giveaway is just one component of Ameren Missouri’s residential energy efficiency program. Customers also have the power to save on heat pump water heaters, HVAC systems and other products that use less energy. Find more ways to save at AmerenMissouriSavings.com.

To request a Sensi smart thermostat, visit AmerenMissouri.com/Sensi. To learn more about Emerson’s Sensi smart thermostats, visit Sensi.Emerson.com or connect with Sensi thermostat on Facebook or Twitter.

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and software company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com.

About Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

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Saudi Arabia Construction Market Size, Trends and Forecasts Report 2022-2026: Commercial, Industrial, Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Institutional and Residential Market Analysis – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Saudi Arabia Construction Market Size, Trends and Forecasts by Sector – Commercial, Industrial, Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Institutional and Residential Market Analysis, 2022-2026” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The construction industry in Saudi Arabia expanded by 1.3% in real terms last year, following growth of 1.9% in 2020, a relatively positive outcome given the disruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The industry’s output in 2021 was supported by an improvement in global economic conditions, coupled with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and recovery in oil prices. The industry is expected to register an annual average growth of 4.1% from 2023 to 2026, supported by the government’s efforts to develop transport and energy infrastructure, coupled with its focus on diversifying the economy away from oil.

The government has set out a SAR955 billion ($254.4 billion) budget for 2022, which includes an allocation of SAR42 billion ($11.2 billion) for transport infrastructure, SAR32 billion ($8.5 billion) for the general administration sector and SAR54 billion ($4.4 billion) for the economic resources sector.

During the Saudi budget forum that took place in mid-December 2021, the Ministry of Energy reported that it expects spending on power and renewable energy projects to reach SAR1.1 trillion ($293.3 billion) by 2030. Of the total, investment worth SAR430 billion ($114.7 billion) will be made on power transmission projects. The country also plans to spend SAR380 billion ($101.3 billion) on renewable energy and SAR142 billion ($37.9 billion) on energy distribution projects by 2030.

Forecast-period growth in the Saudi Arabian construction industry will also be supported by the SAR200 billion ($53.3 billion) ‘National Infrastructure Fund’, which launched in late October 2021. The fund will invest in water, transport, energy, education, health, and digital infrastructure projects until 2030.

It will contribute to the country’s plan of transforming its economy and making it less dependent on oil revenues; it will also provide innovative financing solutions, thereby enhancing the attractiveness of investment opportunities. In another recent development, in March 2022, the government announced that it will invest SAR35billion ($9.3 billion) on more than 60 water and sewerage projects, to make Saudi Arabia the largest water desalination market in the world. Upon completion of these projects, the country’s desalination capacity will nearly triple over the next six years to 7.5m2 of water per day by 2027.

Scope

  • Historical (2017-2021) and forecast (2022-2026) valuations of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia, featuring details of key growth drivers.
  • Segmentation by sector (commercial, industrial, infrastructure, energy and utilities, institutional and residential) and by sub-sector
  • Analysis of the mega-project pipeline, including breakdowns by development stage across all sectors, and projected spending on projects in the existing pipeline.
  • Listings of major projects, in addition to details of leading contractors and consultants

Key Topics Covered:

1 Executive Summary

2 Construction Industry: At-a-Glance

3 Context

3.1 Economic Performance

3.2 Political Environment and Policy

3.3 Demographics

3.4 COVID-19 Status

3.5 Risk Profile

4 Construction Outlook

4.1 All Construction

  • Outlook
  • Latest news and developments
  • Construction Projects Momentum Index

4.2 Commercial Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

4.3 Industrial Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

4.4 Infrastructure Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

4.5 Energy and Utilities Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

4.6 Institutional Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

4.7 Residential Construction

  • Outlook
  • Project analytics
  • Latest news and developments

5 Key Industry Participants

5.1 Contractors

5.2 Consultants

6 Construction Market Data

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/708a3t

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As Russia Threatens Europe’s Energy, Ukraine Braces for a Hard Winter

In a thickly forested park bordered by apartment blocks and a playground, a dozen workers were busy on a recent day with chain saws and axes, felling trees, cutting logs and chopping them into firewood to be stashed in concealed sheds around Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

Ironworkers at a nearby forge are working overtime to produce wood-burning stoves to be stored in strategic locations. In municipal depots, room is being made to stockpile reserves of coal.

The activity in Lviv is being played out in towns and cities across Ukraine, part of a nationwide effort to amass emergency arsenals of backup fuel and critical provisions as Russia tightens its chokehold on energy supplies across Europe.

curtailed gas supplies to Europe last week, leading the European Union to announce that it will reduce imports of Russian gas so as not to be held hostage. Russia turned off the gas taps to Latvia on Saturday, after the government there announced additional military assistance for Ukraine, the latest in a string of European countries to do so.

Ukraine buys its natural gas from European neighbors, so the restriction of deliveries to Europe threatens its access to energy, too.

ordered to evacuate this past weekend after months of relentless Russian bombardment destroyed the infrastructure needed to deliver heat and electricity.

“We understand that the Russians may continue targeting critical energy infrastructure before and during the winter,” said Oleksiy Chernyshov, Ukraine’s minister for communities and territories development, in an interview.

“They’ve demolished central heating stations in big cities, and physical devastation is still happening nationwide,” he said. “We are working to repair damage, but it doesn’t mean we won’t have more.”

Far from Ukraine’s embattled southeastern front, the campaign is being waged in forests and in steel forges, at gas storage sites and electrical stations, and even in basement boiler rooms, as the government mobilizes regions to activate a blueprint for amassing fuel and shelter.

disconnect Ukraine’s energy grid from Russia and Belarus and link it directly to the European Union’s. Last month, Ukraine began exporting small amounts of electricity to Romania, with hopes of eventually supplying European companies that have been hit by Russian natural gas cuts, a potential source of valuable income.

But Ukrainian officials say the ability to supply electricity at home, especially over the coming winter, when temperatures can fall far below freezing, is increasingly threatened as Russia intensifies a campaign of targeting the infrastructure that delivers energy.

Russian shelling has hit thermal power plants around the country and over 200 gas-fired boiler plants used for centralized heating. Around 5,000 kilometers of gas pipelines have been damaged, along with 3,800 gas distribution centers, according to an analysis by the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Kennan Institute, a think tank focused on Russia.

Gas is especially critical for Ukraine because it is used to warm thousands of high-rise apartment complexes, schools, post offices and municipal buildings that rely on centralized heating systems.

largest gas reserves in Europe and has 11 billion cubic meters in storage. Andrii Zakrevskyi, head of the Ukrainian oil and gas association, said Monday that was enough to meet Ukraine’s needs before the war — but the level is roughly half what the government would like it to be.

racing to secure new energy sources, the pain circles back to Ukraine, which imports gas from Europe after halting direct imports from Russia after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Russia’s squeeze has pushed European gas futures prices to record levels, making imports more expensive at a time when the government in Kyiv is facing a budget crisis.

All of which has gotten the country mobilized in a hurry.

Swiatoslaw and Zoriana Bielinski recently stocked the cellar of their modest Lviv home with wood. The couple has purchased scores of batteries and several battery-operated lamps in case the lights go out, and they were preparing to buy gas bottles for cooking.

“We have to start thinking about this,” said Alicja Bielinska, Mr. Bielinski’s sister, who had helped the couple stock up. “Ultimately, we can survive without light and gas, but we won’t be able to survive if the invaders take over.”

Officials responsible for city planning have stockpiled on a much grander scale, collecting thousands of tons of wood and a large stash of coal in the last week alone. Mr. Sadovyi, Lviv’s mayor, said more supplies were on the way and has ordered thermostats to be lowered to 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) when winter sets in.

On a recent day, Mr. Sadovyi buzzed around the city hall courtyard, greeting locals who had gathered for now-regular demonstrations on how to prepare for heat and electricity cuts — or worse. Two emergency workers showed residents how to put on a chemical suit in case of an attack: gas mask firmly in place, the suit sealed tight over the head.

Forges have shifted some production to put a priority on making tens of thousands wood-burning stoves, some emblazoned with the Ukrainian coat of arms. Town halls in over 200 cities are building stockpiles, along with tents that can house up to 50 people apiece in the event that multifamily apartment buildings are left without gas needed to heat them.

The tents can be moved quickly to sites without electricity or heat, providing emergency shelter and stoves for boiling water and cooking, said Mr. Chernyshov, the development minister.

“We hope we won’t have to use them,” said Iryna Dzhuryk, an administrative director in Lviv. “But this is an absolutely unusual situation. We are shocked by what we’re facing and worried about making sure we have enough to keep people warm.”

Nearby, sheds recently built to stock firewood have been camouflaged by locals. Additional wood is expected to arrive in the coming weeks, hewn from groves of trees inside the city and from the vast forests of western Ukraine.

One hour’s drive north of Lviv, in a dense wood streaked with yellow sunlight, forestry service workers labored to generate enough firewood to supply a beleaguered nation. On a recent weekday, they cut into a grove of weathered oak trees and trucked them to a sawmill, where a lumberyard half the size of a football field was stacked a meter high with freshly hewn logs.

Firewood sales have doubled from a year ago, and prices have nearly tripled as the country stocks up, said Yuriy Hromyak, vice director of the Lviv Regional Department of Forestry.

Even the forest isn’t sheltered from Russian attacks, he added. Ukrainian forces recently shot down a rocket fired from Belarus on a nearby oil storage facility. The tanks — which were empty — weren’t damaged, but the blast blew out all the windows in a wood storage warehouse and in parts of the sawmill.

“The Russians will do anything to try to destroy us,” he said. “But no one has managed to unite us as much as Putin has.”

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Germans Tip-Toe Up the Path to Energy Savings

AUGSBURG, Germany — Wolfgang Hübschle went into city government expecting a simple life, planning things like traditional festivals replete with lederhosen.

Instead, these days he has the unpopular task of calculating which traffic lights to shut off, how to lower temperatures in offices and swimming pools — and perhaps, if it comes to it, pulling the plug on Bavarians’ beloved but energy-intensive breweries.

Municipal officials like Mr. Hübschle, the economic adviser to the provincial Bavarian city of Augsburg, sit on the front line of a geopolitical struggle with Russia since European Union leaders agreed this week to try to reduce natural gas consumption by 15 percent, fearing that President Vladimir V. Putin could cut exports in retaliation for Europe’s support for Ukraine.

a second pipeline from Russia, until the war forced the project to be suspended.

underlined the threat this week when it reduced flows through Nord Stream 1 into Germany to just 20 percent, citing, unconvincingly for many, problems with its German-made turbines.

Roughly half of all homes in Germany are heated with gas, while a third of the country’s gas is used by industry. If the coming winter is particularly cold, a cutoff would be brutal.

reopening coal-fired power plants to replace those that burn gas and rapidly expanding infrastructure for liquefied natural gas, along with securing contracts for deliveries from Qatar and the United States.

In a recent social media post, Mr. Habeck admonished people to change their daily habits as part of the effort to reach the country’s goal of saving 20 percent.

“If you think, OK, swapping out the shower head, thawing out the freezer or turning down the heater, none of that makes a difference — you are deceiving yourself,” Mr. Habeck said. “It is an excuse to do nothing.”

Some officials have expressed concern that the government is stoking panic. And some are hoping incentives will encourage careful energy use.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to increase housing subsidies and shield renters from evictions over unpaid heating bills. This week, Munich announced an “energy bonus” of 100 euros to households that cut their annual consumption by 20 percent, and its utility company launched an energy-saving competition for customers this autumn.

Germans seem to be responding. The Federal Association of Energy and Water said the country was using almost 15 percent less gas compared to the same period last year, a trend they partly attributed to the record price of energy. Costs will increase further by the beginning of October, when the government introduces a gas surcharge.

In response, space heaters and wood ovens are selling out in many cities, and there is a long wait for mini-solar-panel units to power some home devices.

Claudia Kemfert, an energy economist with the German Institute for Economic Research, said such savings were critical but worried the country had wasted several months with appeals to citizens instead of taking more robust action with business.

Companies have shown they can reduce their gas consumption when they are not given a choice. Automaker Mercedes-Benz said on Wednesday it had trimmed 10 percent of its gas usage, and could cut as much as 50 percent while maintaining full operations.

“There is a lot we can achieve through market-based approaches, we should exhaust every option we have on that front so that we can avoid an emergency situation,” Ms. Kemfert said.

Municipal officials say they will have no way to understand how much their efforts can help until they get more data.

In Munich, capital of the southern state of Bavaria and an epicenter of German industry, the deputy mayor, Katrin Habenschaden, is skeptical.

“I honestly don’t believe that this can be compensated for, as much as I appreciate it through our efforts now to save energy.” she said. “Rather, I believe that we simply need other options or other solutions.”

As the deputy responsible for managing economic affairs, she has been helping the city with a kind of economic triage — assessing what kind of rationing different companies could face. Businesses, big and small, are courting the city, to make their case for why they should be spared.

Bavaria is of particular concern because it is home to companies that are drivers of German industry, like BMW and Siemens. The conservative regional government’s reluctance to challenge its heavy dependence on gas and push forward on renewable energies has also left it particularly vulnerable, Ms. Habenschaden, a Green, argued.

In Augsburg and Munich, local officials have requested that every city employee send their suggestions. One Augsburg civil servant pointed out the city’s two data centers were a major energy drain. They are now considering whether they can rely on just one.

More quietly, many local leaders are pondering which energy-hungry German traditions may have to be put on the chopping block, should the country be forced into energy rationing: Beer making? Christmas markets?

Mr. Hübschle said he believes Bavaria should shut down its famous breweries before letting its chemical industry face gas shortages.

Meanwhile, Rosi Steinberger, a member of Bavaria’s regional parliament, now works in a dark office to cut her consumption, and is debating whether to provoke the inevitable ire of Munich by suggesting it cancel its world-famous Oktoberfest. It is scheduled to return this fall after a two-year pandemic pause.

“I haven’t asked yet,” she said, with a nervous laugh. “But I also think that when people say there should be no taboos in what we consider — well, that’s what you have to think about.”

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Corvias Invests $92M to Improve Military Housing at Fort Polk U.S. Army Installation

FORT POLK, La.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Corvias will deliver more than $92M worth of housing upgrades to U.S. Army military housing at Fort Polk by 2025 to continue to enhance the living experience for military families. Approximately 140 homes will undergo a complete home renovation, roughly 1,000 homes will benefit from exterior renovations and 153 homes already received geothermal heat pumps on behalf Corvias’ Polk Communities partnership with the U.S. Army.

Corvias recently completed a Phase I, $15M development plan at Fort Polk that repaired or replaced more than 2,300 roofs, painted approximately 1,000 homes and replaced nearly 1,000 gutters in the Dogwood Terrace and Maple Terrace neighborhoods. Fort Polk will benefit from an additional $77M investment by Corvias as part of Phase II of the project, which has already begun.

“The continued re-investment into our Fort Polk community remains a priority,” said Pete Sims, managing director at Corvias. “We believe that having a steady focus on investing in back-to-back development plans allows us to consistently improve the on-post housing experience and remain the top choice for housing when families receive a Permanent Change of Station to Fort Polk.”

In Phase II, 140 homes undergoing a renovation will receive updated kitchens that will feature new flooring, energy-efficient appliances, modern countertops, soft-close cabinets, under-cabinet lighting and new light fixtures. Corvias will renovate these Palmetto and Maple Terrace homes as they become available and final materials used in the renovations may vary based on availability.

The investment also includes the final 153 on-post homes that received new geothermal heat pumps, completing the 2019 effort to replace geothermal heat pumps in all Fort Polk homes. The savings from the energy-efficient geothermal heat pumps will be reinvested into Fort Polk housing for additional capital, home and roadway improvements.

The scope for this second phase of development work also includes demolishing more than 45 homes; renovating the exterior of nearly 1,000 homes, including exterior paint, trim and gutters; incorporating grading improvements to enhance drainage; and repairing carports on approximately 100 homes. These combined changes are part of the overall modernization of on-post housing.

Corvias’ 50-year partnership with Fort Polk is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), which leverages private-sector capital and expertise to reverse the military’s housing shortage. This is done by expanding and modernizing housing with predictable, stable, long-term operating costs and performance. Corvias’ partnership with Fort Polk includes the management of more than 3,600 homes, supporting an average of 732 direct annual jobs, and generating approximately $133M in total tax revenues for the state of Louisiana.

About Corvias and the Military Housing Privatization Initiative

Corvias is a partner to the U.S. Army as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) to revitalize, operate and maintain on-base military family housing. MHPI has enabled renovations, new construction and water and energy-saving initiatives, including the largest solar project in Kansas at the Fort Riley military housing community, which is part of Corvias’ partnership with the Army. In 2019, Corvias developed a $325 million Solutions Investment for its Department of Defense portfolio to fund strategic modernization and resiliency improvements to its U.S. Army base housing infrastructure.

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Ukraine Updates: Erdogan Will Meet With Putin in Iran

The first person Yana Muravinets tried to persuade to leave her home near Ukraine’s front lines was a young woman who was five months pregnant.

She did not want to abandon her cows, her calf or her dog. She told Ms. Muravinets that she put energy and money into building her house near the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, and she was afraid of losing it.

“I said: ‘None of this will be necessary when you’re lying here dead,’” Ms. Muravinets said.

Since the early days of the war Ms. Muravinets, a 27-year-old photographer and videographer from the region, has taken up a new volunteer job with the Red Cross: encouraging people to evacuate. In phone calls, doorstep conversations, public speeches in village squares, sometimes even under fire, she has tried to convince Ukrainians that leaving everything behind is the only sure way to survive.

Persuading people to abandon all they have built in a lifetime is one of the many dreary jobs the war has created, and another challenge authorities have faced. While the city of Mykolaiv managed to push back Russian attacks early in the war, strikes have pummeled it and its region, bringing widespread death and destruction. Many residents have left, but hundreds of thousands are still there, and the mayor’s office has urged people to leave.

Ms. Muravinets, who has spent thousands of hours in recent months trying to make the case for evacuating, said she was unprepared for the task. She started having panic attacks, she said, but she felt she must keep going.

“The war isn’t ending and people just keep putting themselves in danger,” she said in a Zoom call from Mykolaiv that had to be cut short because of shelling. “If I can convince one person to leave, that’s already good.”

Boris Shchabelkyi, a coordinator of evacuations of people with disabilities who works alongside Ms. Muravinets, described her as a tireless worker, gentle with the people she needs to evacuate and “always in a good mood” with her colleagues.

With the Red Cross, she has helped evacuate more than 2,500 people, she said, but many have stayed, or returned a few days after they left. It took a month and a half to convince the young pregnant woman to flee, and she left only after her home’s windows were knocked out twice, Ms. Muravinets said.

“Especially when it’s safe, people think it’s fine and live under some illusion,” she said. “They decide to leave only when missiles come to their house.”

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times
Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

For two years before the war, Ms. Muravinets worked for Lactalis, a French dairy company with a plant in the area, and she toured farming villages to check milk quality.

Now that many country roads have become dangerous, she has reached remote villages, avoiding fire by using shortcuts she learned in her previous job. But now, she has to persuade dairy farmers to abandon their livelihoods.

“It’s the whole life for them,” she said. “They say: ‘How can I leave my cows? How can I leave my cows?’”

Before the war, she said a cow could cost up to $1,000. Now, people take them to slaughterhouses to get meat for a fraction of that.

Ms. Muravinets said some farmers who agreed to evacuate left the corrals open, so the animals would not starve, and cows, bulls and ducks now roamed village streets looking for food and water.

“The people who had money, opportunities, cars have already left,” Ms. Muravinets said. But others, living in bunkers for months, told her that they were ready to die there because they refused to leave.

She said she was staying for the same reason.

“The people who are left are those who are ready to sacrifice their lives.”

Valeriya Safronova contributed reporting from New York.

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