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Ukraine on high alert as Russian strikes on energy system loom

Russia is preparing a new campaign to destroy Ukraine’s energy system, according to Ukraine’s intelligence.
Kyiv blackout Ukraine
An evening on Kyiv’s Andriivskyi Uzviz during a blackout. Photo: Serhii Ristenko
Ukraine on high alert as Russian strikes on energy system loom

Russia plans attacks on the Ukrainian energy system and is reconnoitering energy facilities, the representative of Ukraine’s intelligence, Andrii Yusov, said during the national telethon.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces are intensively preparing for Russian strikes on critical civilian infrastructure, Andrii Yusov said.

“Among other things, there is information that the enemy is conducting reconnaissance activities on energy infrastructure, and there is a threat of repeated terrorist attacks. And we must take this seriously,” Andrii Yusov said.  

According to Yusov, Ukraine is intensively preparing for Russian missile and drone attacks on the energy system. Yusov said it is highly unlikely that Russia will abandon its plans to attack the energy sector of Ukraine.

However, the production rate of missiles in Russia does not allow for replenishing its stocks at the previous level, Yusov noted.

“To have plans is one thing, to implement these plans is another thing,” Yusov said about probable Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy facilities. “No matter how many missiles Russia has, of course, they must be shot down. And we will work on this,” Yusov added.

On 16 September, in its daily update on the Russo-Ukrainian war, the UK Intel noted that it expects Russia to launch missile strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in the winter, just like Russia did in 2022 to freeze Ukrainian cities during subzero temperatures.

Last year, Russia launched over 1,200 missiles and kamikaze drones to destroy Ukraine’s energy system, according to Ukrenergo.

Around 250 Russian missiles and drones hit their targets, and 43% of the main power grids were damaged, Ukraine’s state-owned electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo reported. All thermal and hydroelectric power plants in Ukraine were shelled and damaged.
 
According to the World Bank, the damage to the Ukrainian power system is exceptional: the immediate need to restore and protect Ukraine’s high-voltage network alone amounted to almost $1 billion in 2023.

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