Collapse of Ukraine's energy system may come within weeks – Mercy Corps NGO

7 December 2022, 04:36 PM
Due to Russian missile strikes on energy infrastructure facilities, Ukraine lives in conditions of emergency power outages (Photo:Leah Millis/Reuters)

Due to Russian missile strikes on energy infrastructure facilities, Ukraine lives in conditions of emergency power outages (Photo:Leah Millis/Reuters)

The collapse of Ukraine's energy system due to Russian missile strikes may occur by the end of the year – in the coming weeks, Michael Young, response director of the international aid organization Mercy Corps, said in an interview with Newsweek on Dec. 6.

"What we fear is that, given the pattern appears and the intensity of the air attacks, and their focus on critical civilian infrastructure, like the power grid, that at some point, if they keep up this pace over the next several weeks, the grid will face a situation of critical mass failure," Young said.

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If that happens, millions of people in Ukraine will face a winter humanitarian crisis, the NGO warned, adding that the country's cities "will become almost unliveable over the next four months."

Young also explained what is meant by the collapse of the energy system.

"By that, we mean facing power outages of not just hours or days, but potentially weeks," he said.

The Mercy Corps representative also noted that in addition to the total blackout and the absence of heating in the homes of residents, it will also have other consequences, meaning the shutdown of industrial enterprises and the ability of the health care system to function.

"Everything Is interconnected," Young said.

“The ability of hospitals and clinics to keep running, to keep vaccines cool, to keep medicines stored. Food storage, supply chains, all of these depend upon a dependable power supply.”

Russia has been waging a full-scale war against Ukraine for more than nine months – since Feb. 24. The Russian military strikes at Ukrainian cities in all regions. The targets of attacks are residential buildings, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure.

Since October, Russian troops have been hitting critical infrastructure. The last mass missile strike was conducted on Dec. 5. The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the defenders of Ukraine shot down over 60 out of more than 70 missiles fired by the Russian army. Four people were killed, and emergency power cuts were introduced in many regions of Ukraine.

Chairman of the Board of the electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said on Dec. 5 that the consequences of the new Russian massive missile strike are expected to be eliminated within one or two days.

On the morning of Dec. 7, Ukrenergo stressed on Telegram that there is still a significant deficit in the power system of Ukraine. In a number of regions where consumption limits are exceeded, emergency shutdowns are being applied.

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