Russia Intensifies Attacks on Ukrainian Power Grid

Russia Intensifies Attacks on Ukrainian Power Grid

Area in Donetsk Oblast After Aerial Bombardment on June 21: Via BBC

Ukraine reported a “massive” attack on its energy facilities by Russia overnight, marking the latest assault on the country’s power grid. This is the eighth time in the past three months that Russia has targeted energy infrastructure, according to Ukraine’s energy ministry.

The Ukrainian air force confirmed that air defense systems intercepted 12 of 16 missiles and all 13 drones launched by Russia at several regions throughout the night. On Saturday, officials in Kharkiv, north-eastern Ukraine, reported two fatalities and at least 18 injuries from Russian guided bombs, with at least four explosions heard in the city.

The overnight attacks on energy infrastructure resulted in two energy workers being wounded in the central Zaporizhzhia region and caused damage to energy equipment in the western city of Lviv. Authorities in the south-western region of Ivano-Frankivsk also reported damage to houses and a kindergarten.

Russia has escalated its strikes on Ukrainian energy targets during spring and early summer, causing frequent blackouts nationwide. President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Moscow has destroyed half of Ukraine’s electricity-generating capacity since it began targeting energy facilities in late March.

This week’s attack on energy infrastructure is the second of its kind. On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities reported seven employees wounded and significant damage to energy infrastructure, including a power station, in a major overnight attack.

Ukraine is purchasing energy from the European Union, but it is insufficient to cover the deficit. Consequently, most days involve planned nationwide blackouts to safeguard critical infrastructure such as hospitals and military facilities.

Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK, one of Ukraine’s largest private energy companies, urged, “We urgently need to close our skies or Ukraine faces a serious crisis this winter. My plea to allies is to help us defend our energy system and rebuild in time.”

President Zelensky has persistently requested more air defense systems from Ukraine’s allies, specifically asking for seven sophisticated air defense systems called Patriots from the US. Zaporizhzhia’s governor, Ivan Fedorov, reiterated Zelensky’s message on Saturday, stating, “We can say for sure: the enemy will not stop. Ukraine needs air defense systems.”

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced on Thursday that Ukraine would be prioritized for Patriot deliveries ahead of other countries that have placed orders.

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