- Ukraine competes to build infrastructure bombarded by Russia
- Winter sets in with an energy deficit of around 20%.
- Party chief says next week could be ‘very difficult’
KYIV, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Snow fell in Kyiv and temperatures soared on Sunday as millions of people in and around the Ukrainian capital struggled with power and central heating disruptions caused by the wave of Russian airstrikes.
The cold weather is slowly pushing up energy demand for consumers despite a race to repair damaged power stations, grid operator Ukrenergo said.
Power generators are still unable to restore full power after Russia’s missile attack on Wednesday and have no choice but to conserve energy by installing blackouts, he said.
“The consumption restriction regime is still in place due to the lack of capacity, which is currently around 20%,” Ukrenergo said on Telegram.
Moscow has targeted vital infrastructure in recent weeks with a wave of blackouts that have caused widespread blackouts and killed civilians. Wednesday’s new strikes caused the worst damage ever in the nine-month conflict, leaving millions without electricity, water or heat despite temperatures dropping below 0 Celsius. (32 Fahrenheit) even.
David Arakhamiya, head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party, predicted Russia would launch a new infrastructure attack next week and said the week could be “very difficult”.
Zelenskiy said on Saturday evening that there are restrictions on the use of electricity in 14 of Ukraine’s 27 regions. The restrictions affect more than 100,000 customers in each region, he said. The affected area included the capital Kyiv and surrounding areas.
“If consumption increases in the evening, the number of blackouts may increase,” Zelenskiy said in his late-night video speech, repeating a call for citizens to save electricity. .
“This again shows the importance of saving electricity and consuming it in a reasonable way.”
Forecasters expected snow to fall in Kyiv, a pre-war city of 2.8 million people, until mid-week when temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing.
FOUR POWERS A DAY
Sergey Kovalenko, the chief of staff of YASNO, which supplies energy to Kyiv, said on Saturday evening that the situation in the city had improved but was still “very difficult”. He said that residents should have electricity for at least four hours a day.
“If you have not had electricity for at least four hours in the past day, write to DTEK Kyiv Electric Networks, their colleagues will help you identify the problem,” Kovalenko wrote on his Facebook page.
YASNO is the retail subsidiary of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest independent energy supplier.
Ukrenergo says the blackout will continue and urges limited use of electricity.
“We would like to remind you that now every Ukrainian who has restored electricity can help restore it to others faster, just by consuming a little electricity,” he said in a statement. messaging app Telegram on Saturday.
Russia has said since it launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 that it is not targeting civilians, while the Kremlin said on Thursday it could “end the suffering” of Kiev residents. Kyiv to meet Russia’s demands to resolve the conflict.
On Saturday, Ukraine accused the Kremlin of reviving Josef Stalin’s “genocide” tactics as Kyiv commemorated the Soviet-era famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the winter of 1932-33. .
“Once they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now – with darkness and cold,” Zelenskiy wrote in Telegram. “We can’t be broken.”
Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Kyiv and Lidia Kelly ij Melbourne Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv Editing by Kim Coghill and Frances Kerry
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