To begin, the Ukrainian and Russian mindset is radically different from the Western mindset. Ukrainians have a saying something like "I have the right to live no matter how awful the circumstances". They will put up with an amazing amount of crap.
Americans make the mistake to think the Soviet system was about communism. Communism was simply a delivery system by which to control the masses. High communist officials made a lot of money and were the (or relatives) of oligarchs. Part of what drove some to Kuchma and Yanukovych was the fact that they weren't from ultra-high privilege at their roots. Yushenko didn't either, but he got into Central Banking under the old system and was seen as being of privilege (a bankster). I got to sit really close to Kathy Yushenko's parents on a flight to Kyiv and surmised they were not of privilege either. Kathy's (Katya) parents emigrated to Chicago from Ukraine where she was born I think.
The privileged still steal from everyday people. However, there were good things about the collective system. After working in the fields, everyone was poor and would have community singings, music, theatre and arts. No place on earth is better. Awesome guitar playing. People actually did a lot of socializing which of course involved vodka.
That community spirit still is engrained in society, so people help each other a lot and share. Older people really do miss those times in some ways. So hardship is mitigated. That works better in villages and smaller cities. In the bigger cities they have a nice system of support as far as sharing food and shelter for the most part. I do fear for orphans as the society doesn't really come to grips with that very well. The Govt is corrupt and doesn't care and those that do care are poor.
In Poltava (200 mi east of Kyiv) it is midnight and 25 degrees. Their weather typically is similar to Waterloo, except a lot less rainfall. Maybe 2/3 as much as Sioux City. Absolutely they have the world's best farm soil. When the ground gets frozen, they can drive over ground with heavy equipment. In Illinois roads get posted around Feb 1 as the temp goes up and down and freeze/thaw starts and it is impossible to off-road. They don't have many gravel/dirt roads, but more like IL where there is a lot of rock and oil, so the rural roads are better, but still not weight-bearing aside from Oblast (state) or Federal Highways when the thaw happens. They don't have nearly as many rural roads as Iowa/IL. They also use concrete utility pools which don't snap with ice and wind as readily.
I will never understand Putin invading in February and not waiting till the ground dried out. His tanks and supply trucks were sitting ducks for when the US flooded the countryside with MANPADS.
Ukrainians have been stocking up on food big time. Many are masters at gardening. They store their produce and what is grown is grown for substance and storage. In the villages, the land ownership question still hasn't been solved but people were typically given a couple acres behind their homes. Villages are usually very long with few side streets with gardens behind them. A good deal of rural homes have dirt floors btw. Some thatched roofs. The west through ministries has been providing food shipments. I myself have raised money for a friend who houses refugees moving through or sometimes staying.
The hardest thing for them is living in fear of missile strikes, a hit on nuke power plants and so on. The legacy of Chernobyl is real (I have my own Chernobyl story for another time). The attacks have been so widespread that everyone is terrified of the unknown. They are very aware of the traffic in the early war days were it took 4 days to go 200 miles stuck with fighting within hearing distance.
Maybe you saw this, but the young girl in the video is in Kyiv on a street I walked many times. The sirens went off and she was videoing herself. She survives, but you can get the idea.
The Ukrainian capital saw a missile strike for the first time in months.