‘Massive New Strikes’ Leave 1.5 Million Ukrainians Without Power, Phased Blackouts In Kiev
BY TYLER DURDEN
SUNDAY, OCT 23, 2022 – 12:00 PM
Now much of Western Ukraine, which lies far away from the front lines of fighting with Russia in the east, is without power due to fresh weekend airstrikes across the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a Saturday night address said new “massive” strikes targeted Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytsky, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Rivne, Volyn and Zaporizhia regions.
“We continue eliminating the aftermath of today’s terrorist attacks on our infrastructure,” Zelensky said. “The geography of this new massive strike is very wide.”
The past days have already seen power outages in Kyiv, with energy grid authorities warning of rolling blackouts, and urging residents to take power-saving measures such as the avoidance of running large appliances.
On Saturday the national power utility operator Ukrenergo said that damage from the latest round of Russian strikes set a new record. The Saturday air offensive by Russia was bigger than an initial major wave of strikes from earlier this month:
Over 1.4 million Ukrainian households have lost electricity after a morning of repeated Russian air raids, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office says.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that 40 cruise missiles and 16 allegedly Iranian-made drones hit Ukraine throughout the day.
Oleksandr Kharchenko, a Ukrainian energy official, said in an interview with US media that national infrastructure vital for the people is facing “really huge trouble”.
“When you don’t have electricity in a city, it means you have no water, you have no supply of gas, you have nothing,” Kharchenko said. Days prior to the stepped-up Saturday assault the government said one-third of all power stations had been hit or damaged in Russian strikes.
Most new damage to energy has been recorded in the country’s west, south and center, with some hospitals since reporting they are running on backup generators. Reserves of oxygen and fresh water are also being tapped by hospitals.
Ukrenegro has on Sunday introduced phased blackouts to “avoid accidents”, per The Guardian:
The blackouts began at 11.13am local time (09.30am BST), with households in Kyiv divided into three groups that will be “disconnected for a certain period of time”, DTEK said.
It added that the blackouts should last “no more than four hours” but may be longer “due to the scale of damage to the power supply system”.
According to the latest estimate of the damage reported in Reuters, “Russia has hit at least half of Ukraine’s thermal generation capacity and caused billions of dollars of damage in attacks since Oct. 10, but not all stricken power units have stopped working completely, Ukraine’s energy minister said on Friday.”
Further, “Herman Halushchenko told Reuters in an interview that 30-40% of overall national power infrastructure had been hit in attacks that he depicted as intended to destroy Ukraine’s energy system — a goal that he said had not been achieved.”
Note: we are about 3 weeks until ground freeze and the start of the Russian invasion. These attacks will likely continue with occasional respites for after-action damage assessments until V-Day begins.