Home News Ukraine struggles to maintain order in the face of Russian onslaught

Ukraine struggles to maintain order in the face of Russian onslaught


As Ukraine struggles to stem Russia’s advance, officials in the country say they once again face the daunting challenge of keeping electricity flowing as Moscow’s forces increasingly attack power plants.

The government has ordered rolling blackouts across the country on Monday night in an effort to conserve energy, expanding the scope of small-area outages that have become the norm in recent weeks.

“This is another front in the war,” said Maxim TimchenkoThe head of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power company, said on social media last week. He said the company’s workers were in a “race against time” to restore power to consumers.

The nationwide blackout, scheduled to run from 6pm to midnight, will affect the entire country for the first time this year, but it is unclear whether it will last beyond Monday.

The winter of 2022-2023 will be particularly difficult for Ukrainians as Russian troops attacked many power plants, leaving many without heat in the freezing cold. But since then, Ukrainian forces have become better at shooting down incoming missiles and have more weapons to do so. At least until this spring.

As Ukrainian forces are under-armed, especially after the United States slowed weapons deliveries, they are increasingly unable to protect themselves from Russian artillery fire, which has become more sophisticated.

Russia’s intensified attacks have raised concerns that the outages will not only affect consumers but also damage Ukraine’s defense industry at a time when it is needed most.

“It will definitely slow down production and make it more expensive,” said Oleksandr Dmitriyev, who coordinates the supply of weapons and other equipment to the army. “For civilians, it’s easier to survive without electricity, but for military production during war, having electricity is critical.”

In addition to imposing blackouts, Ukraine has sought aid from Western partners, requesting grid equipment and emergency power imports. On Sunday, Ukraine imported electricity from Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Moldova.

DTEK has also launched a campaign asking countries to provide Ukraine with second-hand equipment they no longer need.

“It is not possible to buy or order new equipment quickly,” said company spokesman Pavlo Bilodid. “The only way is to get second-hand equipment from countries that no longer need it, and that only requires their political will. ”

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk, who became the undisputed world heavyweight champion on Sunday, also joined the event with a record a video Wearing a T-shirt with the words “Fight for Light” printed on it.

“These attacks are personal,” Usyk said in the video.

Ukraine has also requested more air defense systems, specifically U.S.-made Patriot systems, both to protect its power grid and to help defend it against a Russian offensive in the northeastern region of Kharkiv that began 10 days ago. Deep State, a group with close ties to the Ukrainian army that analyzes combat footage, said on Sunday that Russian forces had advanced to 10 different locations in eastern and southern Ukraine but had not captured any new villages.

“Two patriots in the Kharkiv region can greatly help protect lives from Russian terrorist attacks,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.

Mr Zelensky also urged Ukrainians and businesses to consume electricity responsibly. “We need to make sure the public fully understands how power outages are happening now, when peak loads are happening and why we need everyone to be aware of their electricity usage,” he said in a video address on Friday night.

A tailor-consumer named Oleksandr said he was worried about the impact of rolling blackouts on his business. Other business owners expressed similar concerns.

“My family was prepared when the power went out at home,” said Oleksander, who gave only his first name. “My biggest worry is not having electricity at work. I can’t work without electricity.”

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