Putin fails to spark energy meltdown with brutal strikes in Ukraine

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stressed that the majority of Ukraine still has energy flowing through it, despite Russian strikes deliberately targeting critical infrastructure. Barrages of Russian air strikes have repeatedly rained down on Ukraine over the course of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion. These areal attacks are specifically targeting the energy generating system.

Previous strikes have left millions without power across major cities, including the capital, forcing those impacted to adapt to a new way of life relying on generators for power as maintenance workers repair the grid.

Mr Zelensky has previously accused the Kremlin of turning winter “into a weapon of mass destruction” by attacking Ukraine in this way. But the Ukrainian President has stressed that Putin does not appear to be achieving his desired goal.

He said in a video address this week: “Most of the territory of Ukraine has energy. Most of our people have electricity.”

“This is yet another confirmation of our resilience, the strength of Ukraine, the colossal work that was and is being done by many people,” he said, specifically mentioning power industry workers.”

Pavlo Kukhta, an energy expert and former member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Government, has told Express.co.uk that the reason the situation has vastly improved is partially due to maintenance workers now knowing exactly what to do when missiles start flooding in.

He said: “The energy companies in Ukraine have learned how to cope with the situation. There is also a lot support available from the West so the resources are there.

“They have more or less learned how to make repairs so the situation is improving. And the warmer it gets, the better it will get because energy consumption will drop, meaning more power will be available.

“This is very tentative though as war is uncertain, but things appear to be going uphill from here.”

However, a major exception to the rule is the southern port city of Odesa, where organised outages are still being rolled out to help protect generating facilities damaged by earlier attacks.

Meanwhile, leading electricity producer DTEK said grid operator Ukrenergo has not imposed any further restrictions on energy consumption on Sunday.

It said protective outages were also not out of the question in the Kyiv region.

After previous strikes put enormous strain on the energy grid, Ukrainians had been asked to keep their power usage to a minimum while workers made repairs.

Following some of the earliest round of strikes back in October, Mark Savchuk, a Kyiv-based energy expert, told Express.co.uk: “Russia specifically targeted places responsible for transferring big amounts of energy from one place to another.

“It seems as though they were consulting energy specialists to make the target list because if you want to bring electricity systems down, you would have gone for these targets.

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“We had large areas without electricity for one day, but we have managed to repair critical stuff pretty quickly. By the end of the day, we went from millions of people without power to hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

“The next day, we had something called scheduled blackouts to balance energy the system. Including myself, various parts of the country…were taken off-grid for balance.

“Today, Kiev is absolutely fine. I am using electricity as I normally would, but the Government is asking people to economize their consumption. The country on a whole did all the repairs within two days, but we do still have some parts of Lviv and Kharkiv still without electricity, although repairs are being made as we speak and within a few days everything will be fine.”

But currently, the outlook appears vastly different thanks to the lessons learned by maintenance workers and the equipment for repairs sent by Ukraine’s Western allies.

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