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Ukraine warns Russia with drone hit on Kursk energy site

Looks like Ukraine’s recently-announced “deterrence and retaliation” plan to counter Russia’s expected campaign against energy sites has arrived
Screenshot of SBU video shared by Ukrainian media allegedly showing the moment of drone strikes on Kursk power station
Screenshot of SBU video shared by Ukrainian media allegedly showing the moment of drone strikes on Kursk power station
Ukraine warns Russia with drone hit on Kursk energy site

In an overnight attack, a Ukrainian drone struck an electrical substation in Russia’s Kursk region that was supplying power to key military sites of the Russian invaders, sources within Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) told LIGA.net and Ukrainska Pravda.

The sources said the strike was a warning to Russia that continued attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure would be met with significant retaliation on Russian territory.

“If they keep striking Ukrainian energy sites, they’ll get back many times more such hits in their own land,” the security officials stated.

A video shared by Ukrainian media shows the moment of the drone strikes. 

 

Kursk Governor Roman Starovoit reported that the drone dropped two explosive devices on the substation in Belaya Bilyovka district, igniting a transformer. Power was cut to five towns and a hospital in the aftermath.

Video from local outlets showed the substation still ablaze as of 10 AM. The governor claimed 10 Ukrainian drones had been shot down over Kursk.

The attack comes as Kyiv braces for renewed strikes on its power grid with the onset of winter. Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence chief recently announced a new “deterrence and retaliation” plan to counter Russia’s expected campaign against energy sites.

The Energy Ministry believes such attacks will resume as cold weather arrives. 

String of Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s bordering regions

The Oblasts of Kursk, Belgorod, and Bryansk have been lately reeling from Ukrainian attacks.

On 26 September, a blackout was caused by a Ukrainian SBU drone attack on the village of Snagost in Russia’s Kursk Oblast.

On 24 September, a Ukrainian drone hit the FSB building in Kursk, and a Ukrainian UAV force-landed at the airfield in Khalino detonated, killing and injuring air force officers.

Ukraine prepares to protect its energy infrastructure

As of 21 September 2023, Russia has resumed air attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to a partial blackout in Rivne Oblast.

Ukrenergo, the operator of Ukraine’s integrated power system, has been preparing for various scenarios to safeguard the country’s energy infrastructure. This includes readiness for potential missile attacks and other threats to energy facilities.

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been pummeled by Russia in the winter of 2022-2023, and this recent development highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Ukraine in protecting its vital energy assets.

On 9 September 2023, President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine would receive more Gepard AA tanks to protect its energy infrastructure. These tanks are expected to enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend critical energy facilities from potential threats.

Just four days ago, on 25 September, the United States and Ukraine signed a memorandum worth $522 million to strengthen the resilience of Ukraine’s energy sector. This agreement emphasizes the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and other measures aimed at enhancing the stability and security of Ukraine’s energy system.

Related: 

Frontline report: Russia’s Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk oblasts reel from Ukrainian strikes

 

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