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Ukraine has prepared protection for energy facilities against probable Russian attacks this winter

According to the Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Halushchenko, active protection of the energy system is provided by the anti-aircraft defense, which is now much more powerful than last year, and passive protection includes “systems that we will not discuss”.

A Ukrainian energy system.
Photo: Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of the NPC Ukrenergo

“Very extensive measures are being implemented within the Ministry of Defence… If there is some drastic impact, there might be blackouts. But the key thing is that they would be temporary,” emphasized the Minister of Energy of Ukraine during a national telethon.

At the same time, Herman Halushchenko reminded that energy workers in the frontline territories are under constant Russian shelling.

“They [Russian troops – ed.] deliberately target energy brigades trying to restore networks in the Kherson, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions. This is happening constantly,” informed the Minister of Energy of Ukraine.

Read more: Protecting strategic energy facilities is one of the priorities in preparing for the following heating season – Prime Minister of Ukraine.

A worker at a Ukrainian power plant tries to repair damage
after another Russian attack. January 2023.
Photo: Yevhenii Maloletka / AP

Throughout the autumn and winter of 2022/2023, Russian forces launched numerous missile and drone attacks on energy facilities across Ukraine, intending to cause a complete blackout. Despite this, Ukraine managed to withstand the Russian energy terror. Currently, the work is ongoing to restore the damaged infrastructure facilities.

In 2022, Russian shellings damaged about 270 energy facilities across Ukraine. “This accounts for 50% of the entire energy system. These are large facilities, not just transformers near houses. They are either power generation facilities or some major distribution facilities,” explained Serhii Kovalenko, CEO of the Ukrainian energy supplier Yasno. Some objects were completely destroyed and, as a result, cannot be restored. They will need to be rebuilt from scratch, requiring years and significant investments.

Earlier, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine is preparing for Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure and “will not only defend but also respond”. In addition, during the 16th Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in October 2023, a number of allies announced new aid packages for Ukraine, which included ammunition for air defense systems to protect Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, including energy facilities, from potential Russian attacks during the autumn-winter period.