The Iranian-made flying bomb drones Russia uses to attack Ukraine have caused a great deal of damage to the country’s energy infrastructure, Dmytro Sakharuk, the executive director of Ukraine’s largest energy company DTEK, said on Ukrainian national television on Jan. 6.
“As practice has shown, the drones, although small in size, cause a lot of damage because they accurately hit the target and provoke fires that destroy transformers,” Sakharuk said.
He said that after each attack, energy companies try to respond promptly and restore the supply of electricity to the network.
“Thanks to the recovery, taking into account the last drone attack on Jan. 2, all regions now have to limit energy supply every day, distributed in proportion to the consumption of the region, according to these limits it is possible to ensure scheduled outages,” Sakharuk said.
Meanwhile, the general director of the energy supply company YASNO, Serhiy Kovalenko, said that there was a high probability that there would be power outages in Kyiv over the weekend because of plunging temperatures in Ukraine.
He said that usually during the weekend, under favorable conditions, it is possible to do without outages, but at the moment it is very cold in the capital. According to Kovalenko, “every minus 5 degrees outside is an additional 250 MW for consumption.”
It was cloudy, with temperatures of -7 degrees Celsius in the Ukrainian capital on the morning of Jan. 7, a Saturday.
“Over the weekend, outages will most likely be strictly on schedule, although previously Saturday-Sunday could pass without or with minimal outages,” wrote YASNO’s general director.
Kovalenko also noted that local grid faults could also occur due to icing of power cables.
Stabilization schedules for power outages were put back in place Kyiv on Jan. 3, at 2:00 p.m. Earlier, the grid was working in emergency mode, with power outages occurring wherever and whenever needed to stabilize the grid — unpredictably.
Russia started a full-scale campaign in early October to attack Ukrainian energy facilities, with the aim of denying the Ukrainian population heating, power and water supplies during winter.
The Kremlin hopes that this will make Ukrainians pressure their government to seek a ceasefire with Moscow’s invasion forces.
Russia badly needs a ceasefire to rest and rebuild its forces, which have been badly mauled by 10 months of fierce fighting in Ukraine.