Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 14 November 2023 Author: Maciej Tyburski
Russia Increases Air Strikes against Ukraine’s Energy Infrastructure
Russia has attacked Ukrainian energy infrastructure 60 times in the last several weeks, Ukrainian officials have reported as winter approaches, driving up energy consumption. According to Ukraine’s intelligence agency, Russia has already begun a campaign of attacks on the Ukrainian power grid.
Last winter, thousands of Russian drones and missiles targeted Ukraine’s power sector. After just six weeks of intense bombing of energy infrastructure in 2022, Russia has battered Ukraine to the brink of a humanitarian disaster as people lived in horrifying conditions without electricity, heat, or running water. Russian forces attacked a thermal power plant in eastern Ukraine. Electricity distribution networks in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the Donetsk region, the Kharkiv region, and the Kherson region were all also damaged due to Russian shelling. Ukrenergo said a total of 431 settlements were without electricity due to combat actions in different regions.
These attacks have not caused nationwide blackouts yet. The attacks prevent the power grid from being efficiently protected, thus Ukraine’s energy infrastructure becomes an easy target. Ukraine said the help of partners for the Ukrainian energy sector was very important to protect energy facilities. Ukraine has better air defenses this winter, but its energy system is more vulnerable to attacks. Kyiv anticipates that Moscow will once again intensify strikes on its energy sector as temperatures fall.
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