Wintry weather and ongoing fighting are hampering repairs to Ukraine’s power grid, as technicians rush to damage energy infrastructure during weeks of relentless Russian strikes.
Ukraine’s national energy agency, Ukrenergo, said on Thursday there was a “significant power shortage in the system”, adding that consumption limits had been exceeded and emergency blackouts had been reported. introduced in several regions. The outages come as temperatures drop below freezing across the country.
“Frost, rain with snow and strong winds in many parts of the western part of the country cause cables to icing and damage them,” Ukrenergo said.
But the worst challenges are in the east of the country, where access to sites is complicated by continued shelling and artillery fire.
“In the evening, the enemy again hit several areas with massive artillery fire. Electrical networks are being inspected, where the situation allows. Repair work will begin after receiving army access “, added the agency.
Emergency repairs are underway in Kyiv and Odessa.
A bit of context: Russia unleashed a new wave of drone and missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday, targeting the country’s energy infrastructure. Ukraine has faced a large-scale attack on critical infrastructure and energy sources since early October, as part of Moscow’s winter militarization. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday’s strikes caused major power outages in several regions, including Kyiv and Odessa.
The impact: Ukraine’s Health Ministry on Tuesday announced the suspension of planned surgeries in a bid to insulate the medical system from the effects of power outages. “They will be carried out when the situation around the electricity supply stabilizes…all emergency medical care will be provided to patients in full,” the statement said.