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01 Mar. 2024

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How did the Ukrainian energy sector survive the second winter under russian attacks?

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How did the Ukrainian energy sector survive the second winter under russian attacks?

The second heating season since the start of the full-scale invasion has passed without massive blackouts and blackouts. Find out how this was possible and why russia failed to destroy the Ukrainian energy system

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Massive missile attacks by russia in 2022 and 2023 damaged much of Ukraine's critical infrastructure. That is why, before the start of the second heating season since the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, representatives of Ukrainian intelligence and specialized companies constantly emphasized that the winter of 2023-2024 could be much more difficult than the previous one. However, due to a number of factors, Ukraine managed to avoid large-scale infrastructure damage, rolling blackouts, and blackouts.


According to Ekonomichna Pravda, it was not only better preparation for the winter, but also a change in the plans of the russians themselves. Thus, according to the publication's interlocutors, russia now aims to destroy the Ukrainian economy by attacking large industrial facilities.


Why didn't russia shell critical infrastructure?


According to one of Ekonomichna Pravda's government sources, Ukraine currently has many more air defense systems, and therefore, after analyzing everything, the enemy "decided to prioritize military targets."


A similar version is confirmed by the UK Ministry of Defense.


"russia, at least temporarily, has changed its approach to long-range strikes against Ukraine, targeting defense capabilities rather than energy infrastructure. This is in contrast to the major attacks last winter, which prioritized energy infrastructure," British intelligence officials said.




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What helped to avoid blackouts?


Despite a much smaller number of attacks on the energy sector, critical facilities near the front line were constantly under attack from the russian federation. In addition, the number of cyberattacks that interfered with the operation of the systems increased. Thus, according to Vitaliy Zaichenko, Chief Dispatcher of NPC Ukrenergo, in an interview with EP, the Ukrainian energy sector was still one step away from imposing restrictions on consumption, but the weather and a decrease in consumption during air alerts in the country helped.


In addition, the experts interviewed by the EP noted that this winter Ukraine also received help:

– restoration of sufficient generation capacity;
– improvement of the air defense system;
– imports from the EU.


It is also important that this season Ukraine was ready to respond to russia's attacks on the energy sector.


Thus, in late winter, Ukraine was even able to start exporting electricity. Electricity was supplied to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Romania. In general, since the beginning of January 2024, commercial net imports to Ukraine have almost halved, and in mid-February, net exports became positive.


We remind you! Since the beginning of the war, Kyiv has been in the crosshairs of the russian army, and after an unsuccessful attempt in 2022, the occupiers may again launch an offensive against the Ukrainian capital. Read what the military and Ukrainian generals say about these risks in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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