Officials in the capital of Ukraine claim they have started preparing for a scenario that was never thought of: a total blackout that would necessitate the evacuation of the city’s roughly three million surviving residents. This is because they struggle to maintain what is left of an electricity grid that was severely damaged by Russian missiles.
In Kyiv, municipal workers are erecting more than 1,000 shelters that can serve as bunkers with supplies and generators while engineers scramble to try to fix bombed-out power stations because the situation is already so bad with 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure damaged or destroyed.
The national energy utility of Ukraine announced on Saturday that rolling blackouts would be implemented in seven regions in an effort to prevent the grid from completely failing.
Russia’s deliberate targeting of power plants, lines, and substations throughout Ukraine has put an enormous strain on its electrical infrastructure.
The Russian airstrikes have caused additional suffering for Ukrainian civilians and forced government officials to consider the possibility that additional harm could make it impossible for them to continue providing essential services.
In an interview on Friday, Roman Tkachuk, the director of security in Kyiv, said, “We understand that if Russia continues such attacks, we may lose our entire electricity system. “That’s why we’re getting ready for a chilly winter.”
In addition to the more than 1,000 “resiliency centers,” city officials have outfitted emergency vehicles with loudspeakers in case communication systems fail and have launched a campaign to inform the public about evacuation rally points.
In order to be prepared and avoid causing panic, officials must strike a delicate balance. The running water pumps in Kyiv stopped working after the most recent wave of strikes on Monday, forcing locals to fill jugs for drinking, washing, and cooking from old stone wells.
Moscow has an advantage over Ukraine in the race to rebuild while the Kremlin works to destroy infrastructure. Although Ukraine has improved at shooting down attack drones, a small percentage still has the potential to do significant harm.
Of the 55 cruise missiles that were aimed at the energy grid on Monday, 44 were destroyed by Ukraine. However, some of the others struck significant power plants and substations, including a substation that supplies electricity to the capital. Immediately, power was lost to about 350,000 homes.
A distributor facility that supplies electricity from the grid to people’s homes was struck by a Russian missile on Friday. According to the company, it was the 12th energy facility attacked in the previous month.
At least for the time being, Mr. Tkachuk said, there were no signs that a significant number of civilians were evacuating Kyiv. However, if the city’s power went out, that might quickly change.
There won’t be any water or sewage if the power goes out, he said. The government and city administration are currently taking all feasible precautions to protect our power supply system, so that is why.
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