Ukraine conflict: How much damage has Russia done to power supplies?

Ukrainians will be able to endure up to three winters without power, Olena Zelenska, first lady of Ukraine has stated.

Many people across Ukraine are without water, heating, or electricity due to drone and missile strikes.

After facing defeats on the battlefield Russian forces have shifted their focus to attacking Ukrainian fuel storage and power facilities.

Ukrenergo Ukraine, the country’s power company, claims that damage to electricity infrastructures is so serious that half of the demand cannot be met.

According to Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president and CEO, six million people are still without electricity.

Power plants all across Ukraine were damaged, including Odesa in Odesa (south) and Vinnytsia (west).

Many have been without heat since power outages in several parts of Ukraine have caused temperatures to plummet below zero.

Yasno another power supplier says that Ukrainians could face power cuts through March.

Through the Ukraine Energy Support Fund EU, money has been given to purchase equipment like generators and power cables in order to restore power supply. The UK contributes also.

Air strikes caused three nuclear power stations to be disconnected from the grid over two days.

UN experts are also concerned that shelling in the Zaporizhzhia nuke power plant – the largest in Europe– could cause a radioactive leakage.

The shells have fallen close to reactors and struck the radioactive waste storage building, but they have not caused significant damage.

Russia and Ukraine both blame each others for the shelling.

Attacks on Ukraine’s power infrastructure will damage the morale and motivation of its civilian population, according to Marina Miron, defence researcher at King’s College London.

She said that Russia thinks that people who are desperate or freezing may revolt against their government.

Olena Zelenska said that Ukrainians were ready to survive without electricity if the country became independent.

Ukraine’s government has asked civilians to evacuate certain areas, where power stations and other infrastructures have been most severely damaged. This is in order to avoid trying to live through winter there.

It has advised people from the Kherson and Mykolaiv region, in south-west Ukraine, to move to central and western parts of the country.

According to the World Health Organization, 703 attacks or threats have been made on Ukraine’s health facilities since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Dr Hans Kluge is WHO’s regional director for Europe. He says that hundreds of hospitals and other healthcare facilities are “nolonger fully operational and lacking fuel, water, and electricity to meet basic requirements.” He claims this puts millions of lives in danger.

The WHO has called to open “health corridors” for aid to Russian-occupied territories such as the Donbas and newly reoccupied areas by Ukrainian forces such as the Kherson.

An attack on civilians or their infrastructure could be considered a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Dr Kluge called the attack on the health facilities a breach of international humanitarian law as well as the rules of war.

Ursula von der Leyen is the president of European Commission. She stated that Russia’s attack on power stations and other facilities in Ukraine was “acts a pure terror”.

She declared that “targeted attack on civilian infrastructure” constitutes war crimes.

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