Bleak winter looms as Russian strikes cripple Ukraine’s power capacity

  • Ukrainians have little or no heat after the bombing
  • Temperatures are already below freezing in many areas.
  • Residents of Kherson have been offered to move to safer areas.
  • The Ukrainian security service raided the famous Kyiv monastery.

KYIV, Nov 22 (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on Ukrainians to protect energy amid continued Russian attacks that have halved the country’s electricity capacity, as U.N. Health The agency warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine this winter.

Officials said millions of Ukrainians, including in the capital Kyiv, could experience power cuts until at least the end of March due to the missile attacks, which Ukraine’s national grid operator Ukrainergo said had “very “More” damage has been done.

Temperatures in Ukraine have been unseasonably mild this fall, but are starting to drop below freezing and in some areas can drop to -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) or even lower in the winter months. It is expected.

Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities follow a series of battlefield setbacks, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from the southern city of Kherson to the eastern bank of the mighty Dnipro River, which bisects the country.

“Energy savings are extremely important,” Prime Minister Dennis Schmihl said on Telegram on Tuesday.

He said that planned power outages are happening in all regions, and in some cases emergency outages are possible as frost has set in and power consumption is increasing.

“The systematic damage to our energy system caused by Russian terrorist attacks is so significant that all our people and businesses must be vigilant and redistribute their consumption throughout the day,” Zelensky said in a video address overnight. I said.

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Ukrenergo chief Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said on Tuesday that virtually no thermal or hydroelectric stations had been left safe, although he ruled out the need for civilian evacuations.

“We can’t produce as much energy as consumers can use,” Kudrytskyi said at a briefing, adding that temperatures were expected to rise again on Wednesday after a brief cold spell, which would make power generation more difficult. There will be an opportunity to stabilize the system.

‘Darkest Day’

The World Health Organization (WHO) said hundreds of hospitals and health facilities in Ukraine are running out of fuel, water and electricity.

“Ukraine’s health system is facing its darkest days in the war so far. Withstanding more than 700 attacks,” WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement after visiting Ukraine. After doing so, it is now also facing an energy crisis.” .

According to Sergey Kovalenko, the head of YASNO, the energy supplier for Kyiv, workers are racing to repair the damaged electricity infrastructure.

“Stock up on warm clothes, blankets, think about options that will help you get through a long outage,” Kovalenko said.

In a Telegram message to Kherson residents — especially the elderly, women with children and those who are sick or disabled — Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vryshchuk posted a number of ways residents can express interest in evacuating.

“You may be moved to safer parts of the country during the winter,” he wrote.

State news agency TASS quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying last week that Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure were the result of Kyiv’s unwillingness to negotiate.

Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said Russia is bombing Kherson from across the Dnipro River now that its troops have fled. “There is no military logic in this: they just want revenge on the local people,” he tweeted late on Monday.

Ukrainian news agency Suspilne reported fresh explosions in the city of Kherson on Tuesday.

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities.

Kyiv and the West describe Russia’s actions as an unprovoked, imperialist land grab in a neighboring state that once dominated the former Soviet Union.

The nine-month-old war has killed tens of thousands of people, uprooted millions and crippled the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said the world’s worst energy crisis since the 1970s would lead to a sharp slowdown, with Europe the hardest hit.

Fighting continues in the east, where Russia has been on the offensive since 2014 along a section of the front line west of the city of Donetsk held by its proxies.

“The attacks are causing damage to infrastructure and civilian homes,” the Ukrainian General Staff said.

Four people were killed and four wounded in Ukrainian-held areas of the Donetsk region over the past 24 hours, regional governor Paolo Carellino said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian shelling also hit a humanitarian aid distribution center in Orihiv, southeastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, killing one volunteer and wounding two women, the regional governor said.

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Oryiv is about 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has come under repeated shelling in the past few days, with explosions blamed on Russia and Ukraine.

In Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Russian air defenses were activated and two drones were shot down over the city of Sevastopol on Tuesday, with the regional governor urging people to remain peaceful. Appealed.

Sevastopol is the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Aid and Raid

Meanwhile, Ukraine received a new 2.5 billion euro ($2.57 billion) tranche of financial aid from the European Union on Tuesday, Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko said.

In Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said $4.5 billion in U.S. economic aid to Ukraine would begin disbursing in the coming weeks to bolster economic stability and support basic government services.

Ukraine’s SBU security service and police raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv early Tuesday to combat suspected “subversive activities of Russian special services,” the SBU said.

The sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex – or Monastery of the Caves – is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that falls under the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Russian Orthodox Church condemned the raid, calling it an “act of intimidation”.

Reporting by Oleksandr Kozukhar and Maria Starkova in Kyiv, Lydia Kelly in Melbourne and Ronald Popsky in Winnipeg; Written by Sri Navaratnam and Gareth Jones; Lincolnfest, edited by Alex Richardson and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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