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Ukraine blackouts worsen after months of Russian strikes

Ukraine blackouts worsen after months of Russian strikes
Source: Pixabay

Ukraine faced severe energy shortages on Friday in a week that saw parts of the capital Kyiv and several regions plunge into darkness due to relentless Russian strikes on energy infrastructure.

Crippling attacks on power plants have forced emergency blackouts to preserve limited electricity supplies and ensure that critical industries and infrastructure can stay online.

“Electricity consumption limits are in effect in all regions of Ukraine throughout the day,” state power operator Ukrenergo said.

The firm said it had to apply a three-hour blackout late Thursday in around a dozen regions from Donetsk and Kharkiv on the eastern front lines to Lviv and Zakarpattia, some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) to the west on the border with the EU.

In Kyiv, street lights and buildings were disconnected and parts of the city were in darkness on Thursday.

Ukrenergo chairman Volodymyr Kudrytsky said it could take “years” for Ukraine to restore its full generating capacity.

“We are dealing with an absolutely unprecedented scale of destruction,” he said, adding that the capacity of thermal power plants was at a “historic” low with “virtually no hydroelectric power plant that has not been damaged.”

“It is technically impossible to restore these damaged power plants quickly. It will take time: weeks, often months, sometimes years,” he said in a media interview published on Ukrenergo’s Telegram channel.

Ukraine has been forced to import emergency supplies of electricity from neighbouring Romania, Poland, Hungary and Moldova.

“However, due to the scale of the damage, these measures are not enough to maintain the balance in the power system,” Ukrenergo said Friday.

Kyiv city administration said Friday that consumption limits for the day will only meet 75 percent of the capital’s power needs.

Russia has targeted Ukraine’s power grid relentlessly with cruise missiles and unmanned drones packed with explosives since its February 2022 invasion.

At times, millions of people have been left in darkness and without heating in freezing temperatures.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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