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Largest Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure: Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia was hit

On March 22, Russia launched the largest air attack on Ukraine’s energy sector since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The aggressor state used more than 60 drones and nearly 90 missiles, causing power outages in several regions across Ukraine and casualties among civilians.

The Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine / Telegram
The Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine / Telegram

Russia hit Ukraine’s biggest hydroelectric power station, the Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia. There were two direct hits on the Dnipro HPP: on HPP-1 and HPP-2. As a result, the HPP-2 generating station is in critical condition: overhead crane beams and the supports were damaged. There are no preliminary estimates of whether the plant can resume its operations.

“We will have to completely restore the engine room and electrical equipment. We will assess the aftermath within a day and get a clearer picture of the damage – and whether the HPP-2 will be able to operate, at least in a limited capacity, or whether it will be out of service entirely,” said Ihor Syrota, General Director of PJSC Ukrhydroenergo.

During the massive air attack, Russia also targeted the DTEK thermal power plants, affecting electricity generation, transmission, and distribution facilities. Due to the air strikes on the DTEK critical infrastructure, two energy workers were injured and hospitalized.

The settlements in the Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kirovohrad, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Poltava, Sumy, Vinnytsia, and Zaporizhzhia regions were left without power. Rescuers are currently eliminating the consequences of the attack. In particular, about 700,000 consumers are left without power in the Kharkiv region.

“After the morning shelling of Ukraine, there was no blackout, although Russia carried out the largest combined attack on the Ukrainian energy system since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Currently, there is a limited energy supply in the affected regions,” commented the National Energy Company “Ukrenergo”.

Due to an enemy missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, 25 people were injured, and three more were killed. In total, seven private houses were destroyed, and dozens were damaged in the city, with two blocks and dozens of apartments affected in a multi-story building. In the Khmelnytskyi region, critical infrastructure facilities and residential buildings suffered. So far, there are eight wounded and two killed victims, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

In total, on the night of March 22, 2024, Russia used 151 targets for a combined air strike against critical infrastructure of Ukraine. The enemy used 63 Shahed-136/131 UAVs, 12 Iskander-M ballistic missiles, 40 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles, 5 Kh-22 cruise missiles, 7 Kh-47M2 “Kyndzhal” aeroballistic missiles, 2 Kh-59 guided air missiles, as well as 22 anti-aircraft guided missiles S-300/S-400. Due to the air combat, 92 enemy air objects were destroyed: 55 Shahed-136/131 drones, 35 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles, as well as 2 Kh-59 guided air missiles.

“Ukraine needs more weapons and more air defense systems to protect its people. And Russia needs more sanctions and greater isolation. War must become an unbearable burden for the aggressor,” stated Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine.