Ukrainians asked to reduce power usage in wake of Russian infrastructure attacks

FILE – A firefighter looks at a part of a wall falling from the residential building that was heavily damaged after a Russian attack in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. Russia has declared its intention to increase its targeting of Ukraine’s power, water and other vital infrastructure in its latest phase of the nearly 8-month-old war. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked residents to reduce their power usage on Thursday as the country grapples with electricity supply issues following Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure.

Ukraine has accused Russia of increasingly attacking power facilities and critical infrastructure in its recent waves of missile launches, which has already at times caused blackouts and requests for residents to limit power use.

Ukrainian officials asked residents to reduce electricity consumption between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday, including avoiding the use of unnecessary electrical appliances.

“Of course, we will do everything possible to restore the normal energy capabilities of our country. But it takes time,” Zelensky said, adding that “our joint efforts” are “needed even more than before.”

Zelensky warned that blackouts will continue in Ukraine, pointing to three energy facilities destroyed by Russia this week.

The attacks are the latest in a barrage of strikes Russia has levied against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in cities across the country as Moscow escalates its invasion. Zelensky said earlier in the week 3 in 10 of his country’s power facilities had been destroyed.

The Ukrainian leader urged residents to limit electricity consumption for high-energy appliances and push to be “as conscious as possible” about energy use to limit blackouts.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on his Telegram channel that the request to reduce electricity use on Thursday coincides with the start of the heating season in the capital.

“Even a small saving and reduction of electricity consumption in each residence will help to stabilize the operation of the national energy system,” Klitschko said. “I also ask entrepreneurs, owners of advertising spaces, shops, cafes and restaurants to save as much as possible on the lighting of signs and screens.”

Klitschko added that 21 of the city’s 38 trolleybus routes will be serviced by buses on Thursday to conserve electricity. 

Anatoly Kurtev, the acting mayor of Zaporizhzhia, echoed similar sentiments on his Telegram channel, urging residents to place safety over comfort by reducing electricity use.

“The insidious enemy wants to intimidate us and leave us without light and heat, and therefore attacks the objects of the energy infrastructure of our country,” he said. “But all together, having shown consciousness and united, we are able to counteract the intentions of Russian terrorists. Now each of us has the opportunity to help the energy system of our native country.”

Tags electric grid energy use russia Russia-Ukraine war Russian invasion of Ukraine ukraine Ukraine Vitali Klitschko Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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