Ukraine on Thursday, Oct 20, introduced electricity-saving measures and braced for potential blackouts after Russian strikes critically damaged the country’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter.

Authorities are urging Ukrainians to restrict their electricity consumption drastically after Russian missile and drone strikes destroyed at least 30 percent of the country’s power stations in a week.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged entrepreneurs, advertisers, shops, cafes and restaurants to limit screens and signage lights “as much as possible”.

“Even small savings and a reduction in electricity consumption in every home will help stabilise the operation of the national energy system,” he said on social media.

The western region of Ivano-Frankivsk introduced schedules for 20 energy-intensive industrial enterprises to reduce their energy use.

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A local energy supply company also told residents to “minimise” the use of appliances like water boilers, electric stoves and washing machines.

Private electricity providers in the regions of Lviv and Chernivtsi, in the west, introduced a schedule for limiting electricity consumption for industrial enterprises.

The move does not apply, however, to “critical infrastructure enterprises” and no forced blackouts have yet been introduced for the general public, said energy company Chernivtsioblenergo.

“Electric transport, heating systems, water utilities, hospitals and bakeries will continue to operate without restrictions,” it said.

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In Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, which Russian strikes targeted for months, the metro operator said it would increase intervals between trains to save electricity.

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