Ukraine forced to implement blackouts as Russian strikes destroy energy infrastructure

A man cooks on an outdoors stove in Ukraine.
A man cooks on an outdoor stove in Ukraine. Credit: AP

Large swathes of Ukraine are preparing for extended blackouts after Russian strikes crippled the country's infrastructure.

Ukraine's state powerline operator, Ukrenergo, said "emergency outages" of four hours a day or more had resumed in the Kyiv region after critical lines were damaged.

The local governor, Oleksiy Kuleba, said residents of the capital region could expect to see "tougher and longer" power outages compared to earlier in the war.

The mayor of Kyiv said that the city’s power grid was operating in "emergency mode," due to electricity supplies being down by as much as half compared to pre-war levels.

Residents of the northeastern Kharkiv region face a similar challenge, following Russian forces' recent withdrawal.

The governor said that one-hour power outages would begin Monday across the province, including the regional capital, which is Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Officials across the country have urged people to conserve energy by reducing their electricity consumption during peak hours and avoiding the use of high-voltage appliances.

Russian recruits preparing their weapons. Credit: AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week said 30% of Ukraine’s power stations had been destroyed since Russia launched the first wave of targeted infrastructure strikes on October 10.

Earlier this week Russian strikes targeted several towns across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Shelling damaged dozens of residential buildings and cut power lines in Nikopol.

Power also was cut to thousands of families in the neighbouring towns of Marhanets and Chervonohryhorivka.

Both sides are preparing to dig in for winter as Ukraine tries to get its energy infrastructure back online Russia is beginning to deploy the conscripts they began mobilising last month.

Around 30% of Ukraine's energy infrastructure has been destroyed. Credit: AP

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin on Friday that 82,000 reservists were deployed to Ukraine, while 218,000 others were still being trained.

Activists and Russian media reports have said that many of the draftees were told to procure basic items such as medical kits and flak jackets themselves and did not receive training before they were sent to fight in Ukraine.

Some were killed within days of being called up and deployed without receiving even basic refresher training.

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