Ukraine bolsters air defense at power facilities to safeguard against Russian attacks
Ukraine is improving the protection of its power facilities in the face of expected Russian airstrikes on the country's energy infrastructure in winter.
The Ukrainian state electricity operator "Ukrenergo" is reinforcing air defense and building engineering fortifications, says the company's chair Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, Suspilne reports.
Kudrytskyi stated at the Forbes' Energy of Business forum that the trunk network is ready to transfer the power load appropriate for winter to the Ukrainian energy system.
He also noted that this heating season would be "difficult to live through without electricity import."
The Ukrenergo chair reported that the company plans no power cuts at this time, but everything will depend on the situation.
"Now we're not planning (power outages — ed.). Everything will depend on possible shelling and strikes, whether there will be interruptions in the power supply in winter or not. If there are no airstrikes, we do not plan outages," said Kudrytskyi. "Because it is impossible to predict the attacks and where they'll hit, we will act according to the situation."
Kudrytskyi said that "Ukrenergo" is constantly coordinating with government officials and the General Staff of the Armed Forces to protect the energy facilities of Ukraine from further Russian attacks.
"Some of the protection measures we're applying will be used for the first time, not only in Ukraine but also worldwide because no one has encountered the same threat level," he said, adding that the company has applied a complex of both active and passive measures at its substations.
What we know about Ukraine's energy system
In October last fall and winter, Russian troops began regularly and purposefully attacking energy facilities in Ukraine, particularly thermal and hydroelectric power plants and electrical substations.
Ukrenergo Chair Volodymyr Kudrytskyi stated that the Ukrainian energy system came out of the winter destroyed by 40-50%, but by the end of May, the functionality of the damaged facilities was restored to 70%.
As Rubryka reported, during the 500 days of the full-scale war, half of Ukraine's entire energy sector was damaged by Russian airstrikes. The authorities have so far verified 271 hits to energy facilities.
Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko stressed that Ukraine expects Russian attacks on power facilities to continue next winter. Ukrainian intelligence has also obtained information that Russia studies Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
As Rubryka reported, Russia has struck the Rivne region's energy infrastructure for the first time in six months.
The reconstruction of the energy system is still ongoing. Experts expect that the new season will be more difficult than the previous one because energy is not fully restored.