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Ukraine to procure 100 high-voltage transformers to prepare for Russian attacks on energy infrastructure

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 3, 2023 7:28 PM 2 min read
Workers dismantle an autotransformer that stands completely destroyed after the Ukrenergo high voltage power substation was directly hit by a missile strike on Oct. 17, 2022, as Russia launched air attacks across Ukraine, on Nov. 10, 2022, in central Ukraine. (Ed Ram/Getty Images)
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Ukraine will either manufacture or purchase 100 new high-voltage transformers as the country prepares for a repeat of last winter's Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, according to a report by The Economist on Oct. 2.

Due to previous strikes on Ukrainian factories, many of the transformers will need to be purchased from abroad. In order to protect them from Russian attempts to destroy them in the future, the foreign-made transformers will be stored in Poland or Romania until they are needed.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that Ukraine has gained considerable experience in dealing with large-scale attacks and their consequences, and engineers have developed innovative plans to protect critical infrastructure and keep power on.

However, he also cautioned that Russia may have learned from last winter's failure to fully knock out the electrical system, and may change their tactics.

Russia began attacks on critical energy infrastructure in Oct. 2022, causing widespread damage and massive disruptions to the power grid. According to The Economist, "the average Ukrainian home was without electricity for an average of five weeks" between October and December.

Russia already has begun to strike at Ukraine's critical structure this year, and Ukraine has put considerable effort into preparing for the inevitable escalation of strikes this coming winter.  

With winter approaching, is Ukraine’s energy system ready for renewed Russian attacks?
The specter of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system looms once again as winter rapidly approaches. Last year in early October, just as Ukraine’s heating season began, Russia launched a month-long series of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to blackouts…
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