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Ukrenergo: First mass strike on energy infrastructure in 6 months

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 21, 2023 12:19 PM 2 min read
Transmission towers and power lines near a missile-damaged high-voltage electricity sub-station, operated by Ukrenergo, in central Ukraine, on March 1, 2023. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The morning wave of Russian attacks on Sept. 21 marked the first mass strike on energy infrastructure in six months, Ukraine’s state energy operator Ukrenergo reported.

Energy facilities in western and central Ukraine have been damaged and there were partial blackouts in Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv oblasts, according to Ukrenergo.

"Emergency recovery work began immediately after the alarm was sounded," Ukrenergo said.

Russian launched 43 missiles toward Ukraine in the attack, 36 of which were destroyed by Ukrainian defenses, the Air Force reported.

Across Ukraine, two people were killed and over two dozen were injured as a result of the strikes and falling debris.  

Ukrenergo added that due to the ongoing Russian invasion, 398 settlements are currently cut off from the power network, many of them in front-line areas of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Sumy oblasts.

The head of Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, said in July that the operator is preparing for the worst-case scenario this winter, but was "certain that our main network will be ready to function without restrictions."

Russian forces attempted to cripple Ukraine's energy network with massive strikes during the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023, leading to frequent blackouts and a lack of heating across the country.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia is likely to attempt this strategy again next winter.

Shmyhal: Energy infrastructure will be ready for winter within next month
Preparations for Ukraine’s energy facilities to meet the challenges of the upcoming winter are in the final stage, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a government meeting on Sept. 12.
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