Ukrainians help each other with vital supplies amid horror blackouts

Putin's attempts to cripple Ukraine's energy is 'futile' says expert

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Ukrainian citizens are reportedly showing remarkable resilience and are pulling together to help each other out during the multiple hours of the day in which they have been left without power as a result of Russian strikes. Over the last few weeks, Russia has unleashed a brutal barrage of strikes that have rained down on multiple cities across Ukraine, with critical power stations and other types of energy infrastructure deliberately getting targeted. The result has been that up to 40 percent of critical energy infrastructure has been taken out across 16 regions, Ukrainian officials have said, forcing the Government to initiate rolling blackouts in an effort to balance the grid.

This has meant that for certain hours at a time, certain areas will have no electricity or power whatsoever. Strikes on Monday for instance left citizens in Kyiv without water and power for hours.

But while the power is down, not all hope is lost, and locals area reportedly pulling together to provide assistance to one another when the lights are out and it electricity is shut off.

Pavlo Kukhta, a Kyiv local who also just so happens to be President Volodymyr Zelensky’s fomer energy advisor, told Express.co.uk: On Monday, we did not have any power or water, as did most citizens of Kyiv.

“People are pretty p****d off, but they have hope. Self-organisation is pretty good. In our elevator for example, immediately a local barber shop left out emergency supply boxes loaded with water, crackers, medicine and a simple sedative. They provide a bunch of supplies in case a person gets stuck in an elevator, but of course they leave a QR code as an advertisement for their barbershop.

 

“I know this appeared in homes around Kyiv and maybe throughout the country as a wole for those who get stuck in elevators, because of the balckouts every day, people are getting stuck.”

The blackouts are now reportedly getting so severe that there have been reports of them lasting up to 12 hours of outages a day in some locations. But while the Government scrambles to stabilise the energy grid and repair the system after strikes, these organised blackouts are a necessity.

Mr Kukhta explained: “What essentially happens is that some parts of the grid will get isolated and becomes unbalanced.

“You need to have enough capacity to redirect the energy flows. So let’s say that temporarily a substation gets taken down and suddenly one region does not have enough capacity to get energy transmitted from the system. 

“The system produces enough energy, but it won’t be able to get to that region. This means that the system operator has to take down the region and have blackouts there to balance the system in that region, even though the whole system overall in the country is operating fine.

“Then they repair the transmission and the region gets integrated back fully into the system and gets back to normal. This leaves people without power in those regions for several hours of the day.”

Ukrainians have also been urged to limit their energy use during peak hours where demand is expected to be highest, as operators scramble to balance the grid.

Last month, following the initial barrage of strikes that came after Russia accused Ukraine of blowing up a bridge linking the country to the Crimean Penninsula, President Volodymyr Zelensky urged consumers to energy consumption between 7am and 11pm daily after missiles came crashing into vital energy systems.

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Mark Savchuk, a Kyiv local and an expert in the energy sector with a postgraduate degree from the London School of Business and Finance, told Express.co.uk following the initial strikes: “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. 

“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.”

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