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Shmyhal: Ukraine goes through winter using only its own gas for the first time

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2024 12:05 PM 2 min read
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal delivers a speech to Ukraine's parliament on Oct. 6, 2023. (Andrii Nesterenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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For the first time in history, Ukraine is going through winter using exclusively its own gas production, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on air on Jan. 31.

"We currently have about 10 billion cubic meters of gas in our storage facilities. And we are going through this winter using exclusively Ukrainian-produced gas," Shmyhal said.

Despite a series of massive Russian strikes against Ukraine over the past weeks, Shmyhal previously said that the Ukrainian energy infrastructure remains stable.

According to the prime minister, Ukraine's energy giant Naftogaz and its gas producer UkrGasVydobuvannya had increased production by 11% and opened new gas wells.

"In general, I am convinced that thanks to our Armed Forces, air defenses, and heroic energy workers, we will stably go through this winter," Shmyhal added.

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Before the winter, Ukrainian officials warned that Russia is likely to massively target Ukraine's energy infrastructure once the temperatures drop, mirroring its strategy from the previous winter.

December 2023 and this January indeed brought yet another wave of massive strikes, but the resulting energy disruptions have not reached the scale of those in late 2022 and early 2023.

Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR), said on Jan. 15 that Russia's current 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.

Energy Ministry: Foreign companies storing 2.4 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukraine
Foreign traders are storing 2.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities (UGS), Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said on Oct. 16.
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