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Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure will leave Ukraine under emergency shutdowns for up to five weeks, with President Volodymyr Zelensky warning that more attacks may follow and the mayor of Kyiv urging residents to prepare for temporary evacuation if water and power supplies are cut off.
The director of Ukraine’s Energy Research Center, Oleksandr Kharchenko said on Monday that the country’s energy companies need two to five weeks to restore stability to Ukraine’s energy system in the aftermath of Russian attacks on infrastructure.
That timeframe is only relevant if there are no further Russian attacks on energy facilities.
More than 4.5 million consumers are already without power, Euractiv cited Zelensky as saying, while3 Kharchenko points out that enough electricity is being produced but damage to transportation routes is undermining distribution.
On Monday, Ukraine faced a projected shortfall of 32% in power supply, according to Euractiv, citing energy provider YASNO.
Ukrainians are being called upon now to conserve energy to the maximum.
On Sunday, Zelensky warned of the potential for more attacks, noting that Russia is “concentrating forces and means for a possible repetition of mass attacks on our infrastructure. First of all, energy.”
Also on Sunday, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko raised alarms about potential losses of power and water in the capital city, urging residents to be prepared to evacuate.
“If you have extended family or friends outside Kyiv, where there is autonomous water supply, an oven, heating, please keep in mind the possibility of staying there for a certain amount of time,” Klitschko said.
Putin’s aim, Klitschko said, was “for us to die, to freeze, or to make us flee our land so that he can have it”.
In the south, Russia is clearly continuing with its energy infrastructure attacks, with the Kherson regional governor noting that Moscow’s forces had now destroyed some 1.5 kilometers of power lines in the region, severing supply to the city of Beryslav.
Russian news agencies have also accused Ukrainian forces of damaging the Nova Kakhovka dam in Russian-occupied territory near Kherson. That claim has not been independently verified.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com