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Energy Ministry warns of blackouts due to 'significant' power shortage

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2024 11:01 AM 2 min read
Blackout in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on April 21, 2024. (Serhii Korovayny/The Kyiv Independent)
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Russian attacks and unseasonably cold weather have caused a "significant capacity deficit" in Ukraine's power system, leading to blackouts and energy restrictions for consumers across the country, the Energy Ministry reported on May 15.  

Since the start of 2024, Russia has launched five large-scale attacks against Ukraine's energy infrastructure, causing over $1 billion worth of damage.

The Energy Ministry said that the shortage, which is expected to continue during the evening, caused emergency power cuts on the morning of May 15 and the previous evening.

Ukraine received an emergency supply of electricity over the past day from neighboring Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, the Energy Ministry said.

The ministry asked consumers to reduce the use of energy-intensive appliances during the peak evening hours.

Ukrenergo, Ukraine's state-owned energy operator, warned on the evening of May 14 that restrictions on energy supply had been introduced due to a "significant power shortage."

Ukrenergo said that the restrictions on industrial energy consumers will continue for the rest of the day, but added that the supply of power to critical infrastructure will not be restricted.

Russia carried out its latest large-scale attack overnight on May 8, targeting energy infrastructure in central and western regions. An attack in April destroyed the Trypillia Thermal Power Plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko warned on May 13 that as a result of the attacks, Ukraine may not only face a "difficult winter," but also issues with the electricity supply this summer.

"To date, we have already lost about 8 gigawatts of capacity in the system. If this had happened in any other country, there would have been a total blackout," Halushchenko said.

48 hours in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s most-bombed major city
The first signs that something ominous is happening in Kharkiv come as soon as the train from Kyiv reaches the suburbs of the city – as two pillars of smoke appear in the distance, every single phone in the carriage erupts with a piercing electronic squawking. “I guess we’ve arrived,
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