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Sunday, July 21, 2024

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Ukraine’s Energy Crisis Deepens as Russian Strikes Decimate Power Grid

WorldRussiaUkraine's Energy Crisis Deepens as Russian Strikes Decimate Power Grid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed on Tuesday that Russian missile and drone attacks have obliterated half of Ukraine’s electricity generation capacity since last winter.

This revelation came during a conference on reconstructing Ukraine held in Berlin, underscoring the severe impact of ongoing hostilities on the nation’s infrastructure.

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“Nine gigawatts of capacity have already been destroyed as a result of Russian strikes,” Zelensky stated. “The peak of electricity consumption last winter was 18 gigawatts. So half now doesn’t exist.”

This stark assessment highlights the dire energy crisis facing Ukraine as it enters another challenging winter.

The destruction of energy facilities has led to scheduled power outages and regular blackouts across the country. Ukraine’s state-owned energy provider, Ukrenergo, announced the extension of these outages due to increasing electricity consumption.

“Today… the period of application of hourly outage schedules throughout Ukraine has been extended — restrictions will be imposed from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.,” Ukrenergo said in a statement.

On Monday, the company had declared outages between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., with further outages on Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

“The reason is that consumption continues to grow,” Ukrenergo explained. “At the same time, due to extensive damage, Ukrainian power plants cannot produce as much electricity as before the attacks.”

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Zelensky emphasized that the systematic targeting of energy facilities is part of a broader strategy by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cripple Ukraine’s resilience and disrupt its connection with European energy systems.

He reiterated his call for Western allies to expedite the supply of air defense systems to Ukraine. “It is missile and bomb terror that helps Russian troops advance on the ground,” Zelensky asserted. “Air defense is the answer.”

The scale of the destruction has been described as unprecedented by Ukrenergo Chairman Volodymyr Kudrytsky. “We are dealing with an absolutely unprecedented scale of destruction,” he said.

“The capacity of thermal power plants is at a historic low with virtually no hydroelectric power plant that has not been damaged.”

Kudrytsky warned that restoring Ukraine’s full generating capacity will be a long-term endeavor. “It is technically impossible to restore these damaged power plants quickly.

It will take time: weeks, often months, sometimes years,” he elaborated in an interview published on Ukrenergo’s Telegram channel.

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This ongoing energy crisis compounds the hardships faced by millions of Ukrainians amid the protracted conflict. The persistent attacks on critical infrastructure not only jeopardize daily life but also threaten the country’s broader economic stability and its recovery efforts.

As Ukraine braces for a tough winter, the international community’s support becomes ever more crucial. The call for advanced air defense systems highlights a desperate need to protect what remains of the nation’s infrastructure and prevent further devastation.

The conference in Berlin served as a reminder of the urgent need for reconstruction and support for Ukraine, with President Zelensky’s plea resonating as a call to action for global allies to help shield Ukraine from further attacks and assist in rebuilding its crippled energy grid.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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