Russia’s campaign of mass strikes against Ukraine’s energy system damaged around 70 large facilities last fall and winter, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the head of Ukraine's state grid operator Ukrenergo, told Voice of America (VOA).
“Many smaller facilities were damaged in front-line areas by artillery strikes, small transformer points, or regional substations. There are probably hundreds, thousands of them,” Kudrytskyi said in the interview.
According to Kudrytskyi, every large thermal and hydroelectric power plant on Ukraine-controlled territory sustained significant damages in the Russian campaign that crippled half of the country’s energy system.
When asked how Ukraine is preparing for a potential uptick in Russian strikes against the energy grid in winter, the official said that except for strengthened air defense, the country is building unique structures to protect its critical facilities.
“Such solutions for protection against missiles and Shahed-type drones simply didn’t exist in the world, they had to be invented.”
According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russia is trying to replenish its stockpile of Kh-101 missiles to use them against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this winter.
Ukrainian Air Force warned on Oct. 8 that Russia will likely launch a record number of Shahed kamikaze drones against the country in the coming months.
Moscow has admitted that Ukraine's energy system is one of its primary targets. According to the Geneva Convention, attacking vital public infrastructure constitutes a war crime.