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16 Dec, 2022 17:35

Ukraine declares energy emergency

The announcement followed reports of explosions that caused damage to multiple infrastructure sites across the country
Ukraine declares energy emergency

Ukraine’s state-owned energy giant Ukrenergo declared a state of emergency on Friday, amid reports of a new wave of Russian missile strikes against the country’s critical infrastructure. The operator reported that it had registered electricity consumption plummeting by more than 50% across the country, with the situation constituting a “system breakdown.”

An air raid alert was announced for all parts of Ukraine on Friday morning, as local media and authorities reported explosions in various cities and regions, including in the capital, Kiev.

The Mayor of eastern Ukrainian city Kharkov, Igor Terekhov, said that “colossal” infrastructural damage had been inflicted by the strikes. The attack has “primarily affected the energy system,” the official claimed in a Telegram post.

A similar account was provided by the Mayor of the southern Ukrainian city of Krivoy Rog, Alexander Vikul, who confirmed “several” missile strikes in that region. An “energy infrastructure” site has been “destroyed” by the attack, Vikul said in a Telegram post, without revealing the exact nature of the affected site.

Ukraine’s largest private energy operator, DTEK, has also reported an attack on one of its sites, which ended up “seriously damaged” and disconnected from the grid. The site has been repeatedly subjected to missile attacks before, the company noted.

Somewhat contradicting the reports by the energy operators and local authorities, however, Ukraine’s military claimed it has been extremely successful in fending off the strikes. According to official figures, Ukraine has intercepted some 60 missiles out of 76 said to have been launched by Russia.

So far, the Russian military has remained silent on the salvo and has not provided its account of the attack.

Ukrenergo lifted the emergency, however, later in the day.

In recent weeks, Russia has ramped up its air strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, through missile and suicide drone barrages across the country. This followed Kiev's launch of several sabotage operations against civilian infrastructure in Russia, including the Crimean Bridge bombing.

The attack on the bridge has been widely cheered by common Ukrainians and top officials alike, with the incident squarely blamed by Moscow on Kiev’s military intelligence and its Western backers.