The population will receive at least 12 hours notice in case the network is about to fail completely. Authorities are also setting up 1,000 heated shelters to weather the winter as Putin's troops continue to attack civilian targets
Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities, damaged by a Russian drone strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at an undisclosed location, Ukraine October 27, 2022 (Reuters)
As they struggle to maintain a power grid heavily damaged by Russian missiles, officials in the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, have begun planning for a previously unthinkable possibility: a complete blackout that would require the evacuation of approximately three million residents remain in the city.
According to reports this Sunday The New York Times,Those responsible for the city are currently struggling to maintain an electrical network seriously damaged by Russian missiles, says the newspaper, which assures that the situation is already very serious, with 40 percent of the Ukraine's energy infrastructure damaged or destroyed.
. As winter approaches, the city is preparing 1,000 heating shelters that can also protect civilians from Russian missiles.Most are inside educational facilities, but the authorities have asked that their exact location not be reported so that they do not become easy targets.
To try to prevent the network from failing completely, Ukraine's national power company already said on Saturday that it would continue to impose rolling blackouts in seven regions of the country.
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The tremendous pressure on Ukraine's ability to supply energy is the result of Russian forces' widespread bombing of critical energy infrastructure across the country, a tactic which, according to analysts, Russian President Vladimir Putin has resorted to when his troops have suffered repeated setbacks on the battlefield.
The damage caused so far by the Russian strikes has caused “new suffering to Ukraine's civilians and has forced officials to consider the possibility that further damage would prevent them from providing basic services,” the newspaper says. >
“We understand that if Russia continues with such attacks, we may lose our entire electrical system”, explained, for his part, Roman Tkachuk, security director of the municipal government of kyiv, to the New York newspaper.
He added that officials in the capital have been told that they are likely to receive at least 12 hours' notice in case the network is about to fail.
And if that time comes, Tkachuk said, “we will start informing people and asking them to leave” the city.
FILE OTTO: Firefighters help a local woman evacuate from a residential building destroyed by a strike by Russian drones, which local authorities consider to be unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Iranian-made Shahed-136, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in kyiv
When Russia launched its latest volley of more than 50 cruise missiles on Monday, most were shot down, according to Ukrainian officials. But those who managed to reach power plants and substations, immediately depriving thousands of people of energy.
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On Friday, another Russian attack hit a company facility that distributes power to homes. This is the twelfth energy installation affected in the last month, according to the company.
Across the city, engineers were working to repair damaged electrical infrastructure, despite having no easy way to obtain the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment they would need to fully restore the grid. To reduce damage from future attacks, they were protecting power plants with blast walls.
Ukraine's national electricity company, Ukrenergo, confirmed on Saturday the need to continue the blackouts , stating that they were necessary to “reduce the load on the grids, ensure the sustainable balance of the electrical system and prevent repeat accidents after the electrical grids were damaged by Russian missile and drone attacks.”
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The cuts will affect kyiv and its surroundings, and the regions of Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Poltava, Sumy and Zhytomyr, the power company said. At least for now, the situation is manageable and there are no signs that large numbers of civilians are fleeing the capital, but this could change quickly if services that depend on the energy reaching the city were stopped, the official told daily.
“If there is no electricity, there will be no water or sewage,” he said. “That is why the government and the city administration are currently taking all possible measures to protect our energy supply system,” he added.
The Russian military has been bombing critical infrastructures throughout Ukraine that have caused water, electricity and gas cuts, which worries the Government of kyiv before the imminent arrival of winter.