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FT: Russia shifts tactics, targets Ukraine’s less protected power plants:

Officials say some facilities may not recover before next winter, with a goal to restore 50% of damaged units by October if no further attacks
damaged thermal power plants in Ukraine april 2024.
The map shows damaged thermal power plants. Credit: Institute for the Study of War as of 5 April 2024.
FT: Russia shifts tactics, targets Ukraine’s less protected power plants:

The Financial Times reported on 8 April that Russia has changed its tactics for attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, using high-precision missiles to destroy power plants in less protected areas than Kyiv. Some facilities reportedly will not be able to fully recover before next winter.

Between March 22 and 29, Russia struck seven thermal power plants in less protected regions than Kyiv, which has one of the best air defense systems in the country. Russian missiles also hit two hydroelectric power plants,” the Financial Times writes.

Ukrainian officials said that while the damage inflicted by Moscow is not as extensive, it is “worse than in the winter of 2022-23,” and it is clear that Russia’s goal now is to cause “permanent, irreparable harm.”

Ukraine has not provided details on the extent of damage at each station, but officials said some of them, including in Kharkiv Oblast near the Russian border, were almost completely destroyed, the FT reported.

“Our goal is to restore as much as possible by October,” said Maxim Timchenko, CEO of Ukraine’s largest energy producer, DTEK.

The group lost about 80 % of its electricity production as a result of Russian attacks carried out in the last week of March. Five DTEK thermal power plants were forced to shut down.

According to Timchenko, there are plans to restore the operation of some substations and large power plants that were not completely destroyed. “Provided there are no further attacks, at least 50 % of the damaged power units will be reconnected to the grid,” he said.

“The same number of missiles used in the [2022-23] winter attack are now being directed at five to six energy facilities in one region,” said Maria Tsaturyan, head of communications at Ukrenergo, adding that “They are trying to cut off large industrial regions and cities from the power supply.”

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