President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that as winter draws near, the number of Russian strikes on Ukraine’s electrical power grid is expected to surge. In an evening address on Oct. 15, he stressed the need “to be prepared for it.”
“With the approach of winter, there will be more Russian strikes — on power generation facilities, on the network. We must be ready for this,” Zelensky said.
Ukrainian diplomats, intelligence, and security forces keep working to assist our citizens in Israel and Gaza.— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 15, 2023
We have already evacuated over 200 people, mostly women and children, from Israel to Romania. There will be more flights.
There are almost 260 Ukrainians in Gaza. Exit… pic.twitter.com/ObvST9whhW
Even though Ukraine would be strengthening its air defenses and work with its partners to use new protective measures, the success of these efforts, according to him, also depends on the readiness of local authorities, energy companies, and telecom operators.
Zelensky said that everyone needs to work together to prevent Russian attacks from disrupting Ukraine during the winter. He urged stability and strength in all areas, including on the battlefield.
In response to recent attacks, Zelensky mentioned that power engineers and rescuers are working to repair damage in the Kherson and Donetsk regions. In Kherson, the electrical power went out due to Russian bombs, but electricity and water supplies have been mostly restored. Repair work will be completed by Monday, Oct. 16.
Zelensky’s warning comes after Volodymyr Kudritsky, the head of Ukrenergo, said that despite the damage, Ukraine’s power system can handle the usual electricity demand in winter. Speaking at the Kyiv International Economic Forum on Oct. 12, he said that Ukrenergo has a plan in place to manage this, even on the coldest days.
At the same, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) in his latest interview expressed concerns that Russia has not changed its intention to plunge Ukraine into darkness, so this winter Ukrainians will once again face a battle for electricity.
“But there are no special adjustments in their plans, so they will continue to do so this season,” Budanov said.
Russia has already restored a certain supply of missiles. According to Budanov, it will be quite enough to create very real problems not only for the Ukrainian energy sector but also for the oil and gas sector, industrial enterprises, and military facilities.
“They have enough forces and resources because they have recently carried out limited missile strikes.”
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