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Russian overnight drone attack damages substation in central Ukraine, causes blackout in Chernihiv Oblast

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 30, 2024 2:02 PM 2 min read
Transmission towers and power lines near a high-voltage electricity substation, operated by the state-owned company Ukrenergo in central Ukraine on March 1, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Russia's drone attack against Ukraine overnight on Jan. 30 damaged an electrical substation in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and caused a blackout in a Chernihiv Oblast community, Ukrainian authorities reported.

Russia launched 35 Shahed-type drones at Ukraine at night, 15 of which were downed over multiple oblasts, according to the Air Force. A part of Russian drones reportedly targeted energy infrastructure as well as civilian and military facilities near the front line and the Russian border.

As a result of the attack, equipment at one of the electrical substations in central Ukraine operated by the state-owned energy operator Ukrenergo was damaged, the company said. Emergency repairs have reportedly started immediately after the air raid alert was deactivated.

The Energy Ministry clarified that the affected substation is located in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. A local enterprise was de-energized due to the damage to the substation, according to the ministry.

The drone attack also damaged electrical networks in the Semenivka community in Chernihiv Oblast bordering Russia, leading to power cut-offs at a substation and people's homes, the ministry added.

"Thanks to the concerted actions of energy workers and the military, the mass attack did not cause critical consequences for the balanced power system operation," Ukrenergo said on Telegram.

Over the winter of 2022-2023, Russia engaged in a persistent campaign to target Ukraine's energy infrastructure, causing large-scale outages and damage to the grid. Russia has continued a similar strategy this winter, escalating its attacks on energy facilities as the weather grew colder in 2023.

Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of Ukraine's Military Intelligence (HUR), said on Jan. 15 that Russia's winter campaign of missile strikes is predominantly targeting Ukraine's military-industrial complex, marking a change from the previous winter's attacks on energy infrastructure.

Despite the apparent shift in strategy, Russian attacks still regularly damage or destroy equipment and facilities associated with Ukraine's energy production and transmission.

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