President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine expressed concerns on Sunday that Russia will launch new attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure during the fall and winter seasons. He emphasized the importance of securing the power grid and urged every city and village in the country to be prepared. In the previous winter, Russia strategically targeted Ukrainian energy systems to weaken the country’s resistance to its invasion. The relentless bombings resulted in millions of civilians enduring bitterly cold conditions without access to light or heat. Daily life was severely impacted, with doctors performing surgeries by flashlight and residents waiting in long lines for clean water. Desperate families resorted to improvised space heaters, sometimes leading to fatal carbon monoxide poisonings.
However, due to round-the-clock efforts by Ukraine’s energy crews and international support, the power grid survived the winter and was able to resume surplus energy production by spring. Despite this progress, President Zelensky warned that Russia is likely to weaponize the upcoming winter once again. During a meeting in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, he stated, “It is obvious that in the autumn and winter the enemy will try to repeat the terror against the Ukrainian energy sector.” He emphasized the need for Ukrainian officials at all levels to anticipate and prepare for potential energy attacks.
To mitigate the risks, Ukraine has already gathered approximately 80 percent of its targeted gas and coal supplies in storage facilities for the upcoming season. The government is also working on increasing the capacity of the power grid. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced at the meeting that Ukraine is receiving significant aid, including $897 million from the United States for generators and transformers, as well as nearly $183 million from Europe through the Ukraine Energy Support Fund.
Despite these efforts, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the head of the Ukrainian state power company, cautioned that blackouts could still occur and encouraged residents to have backup generators at their disposal. He assured the public that the utility was doing everything possible to prevent reliance on generators but couldn’t guarantee uninterrupted power supply.
In conclusion, Ukraine is taking proactive measures to safeguard its energy infrastructure and prepare for potential attacks by Russia during the upcoming fall and winter seasons. The country has made progress in stockpiling essential supplies and improving the capacity of the power grid. International aid from the United States and Europe is also contributing to Ukraine’s efforts. However, there is still a possibility of blackouts, and residents are advised to have backup generators on hand as a precautionary measure.