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Russian strikes have reduced at least half the thermal power capacity of Ukraine -minister By Stocksak


© Stocksak. During parliament session in Kyiv (Ukraine), October 8, 2021, Herman Halushchenko, Ukraine’s Energy Minister, addresses lawmakers. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Max Hunder

KYIV (Stocksak), -Russian air raids have damaged at least half the country’s thermal generation capacity and caused billions in damage since October 10, although not all power units have been completely shut down, Ukraine’s energy minister said Friday.

Stocksak was interviewed by German Galushchenko, who said that Ukraine may need electricity imports in order to get through winter after the attack on power infrastructure.

Moscow increased its strikes last Wednesday using missiles, loitering munitions and munitions to strike Kyiv as well as major power and heating infrastructure. This was Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s retaliation for a Ukrainian attack upon a bridge that links to annexed Crimea.

“It’s quite large. Galushchenko stated that it was at least half of the thermal (power generation) capacity and even more when asked about the extent of damage.

Ukraine is known for its long and cold winters. The mean temperature drops to -20 degrees Celsius, while lows dip to -20 degrees. However, state weather forecasters are expecting a milder year.

The minister stated that he believed Russia, whose invasion in Ukraine is approaching the eight-month mark now, planned to destroy all of the energy system. However, he stressed that the system was still functioning stably at the moment.

Galushchenko said that they targeted a number thermal generation (plants), this week. According to him, the strikes had caused Ukraine to lose 4000MW of its generating power.

This week, towns and cities had to restrict power supplies and limit electricity use.

He stated that while they had targeted a lot of new facilities, they also shelled existing facilities to destroy them completely.

Galushchenko warned of the time it would take to rebuild the infrastructure and said that Russia would be pursuing Ukraine for the costs through international courts.

According to his ministry, five energy workers have been killed and eleven others injured in attacks since Oct. 10.

NUCLEAR BACKROUND

Galushchenko spoke English throughout the interview. He was dressed casually in military-style clothing in the airy, Soviet era offices of Kyiv’s energy ministry.

Since April 2021, he is energy minister. He was previously vice president at Energoatom (the state nuclear company that rose to prominence during the war over Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia).

He said that he didn’t see any signs of progress toward a deal involving Russia and Ukraine or the United Nations nuclear watchdog in resolving the matter at the plant. It is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

The plant is still being operated by the Ukrainian staff, although Russian forces have occupied it in southern Ukraine since shortly before Moscow invaded. Moscow and Kyiv have each accused the other of shelling this facility and threatening a nuclear catastrophe.

Rafael Grossi, the head International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has held talks in Moscow, Kyiv, and other locations in an effort to reach an agreement on a safety- and security protection zone around this plant.

Galushchenko answered the question “Not at this stage” when asked if there was progress towards an accord.

“I see that Rafael left messages this week. He wants to discuss the framework for an accord. He stated that although he doesn’t know what might have changed in Russia’s position, he does not believe there is any way to agree with Russia.

When asked if it would be too dangerous to continue working at the plant by Ukrainian staff, he replied: “This is a nuclear accident.” He explained that they had a responsibility for continuing their work as Russia could not replace them.

Galushchenko stated that an evacuation of the plant’s “thousands of workers” would only occur “several hours prior to (a) real disaster.”

News Source and Credit

Stocksak Editorial

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