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    War against Ukraine: This is the situation


    After Russia's shelling of energy plants, people in Ukraine have to prepare for power outages. There are other reasons for this as well. The news at a glance.

    Following massive Russian attacks, the Ukrainian energy company Ukrenergo (Ukrenerho) has announced many power outages for the whole of next week starting today. The deficit in the energy system will be higher than last week, said the head of the energy company, Volodomyr Kudrytsky, on Ukrainian television. Due to the bottlenecks, there will be power outages throughout the day, especially in the morning and evening hours.

    There are many reasons for the shutdowns. After the massive Russian bombardment in recent weeks, certain energy infrastructure facilities were damaged, including some hydroelectric and heating plants. These facilities are producing less energy than usual, it was said. Since Saturday, two reactors at nuclear power plants have also been undergoing scheduled repairs. This could not be postponed, and output is therefore lower than usual, said Kudryzkyj.

    Another factor is the relatively high temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius that are expected in Ukraine next week. This will increase consumption due to more intensive use of air conditioning. The country as a whole must expect a significant shortage of electricity. It is also not possible to meet demand by importing energy, said Kudryzkyj. Electricity imports have more than doubled in some cases. “But even that is not enough to prevent the electricity from being switched off completely at night.”

    The power cuts are intended to limit consumption and stabilize the grid after Russian air strikes recently paralyzed a significant portion of Ukraine's electricity production. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called on citizens to use as little electricity as possible.

    Hydroelectric power plant in “critical condition”

    After another Russian missile attack at the weekend, the damaged hydroelectric power station on a reservoir on the Dnipro near Zaporizhia is in a “critical condition” according to the authorities. Specialists must examine the safety of the associated dam, said the military governor of Zaporizhia, Ivan Fedorov.

    The power plant has been the target of Russian fire several times in recent months. A fire broke out in a massive rocket attack at the end of March. The power plant was badly damaged and had to be shut down for a while. Rockets hit the plant again on Saturday night. The dam was then temporarily closed to traffic.

    In its war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been going on for more than two years, the Russian army targeted power plants, substations and power lines from the air in March and April. According to official figures, production capacity fell by 44 percent. Electricity production from coal-fired power plants was almost completely lost. Hydroelectric power plants on the Dnipro were also damaged. The prospects for quick repairs are poor.

    Electricity production from nuclear power is largely functioning. But energy imports from neighboring countries are not always enough to close the gap. In addition to the planned power outages that are spread across the country, there are also outages caused by fighting.

    In the first winter of the war in 2022/23, Russia primarily targeted substations in Ukraine. The power grid did not collapse, but millions of Ukrainians were left in the dark without electricity and thus without heating and water. Russia's main aim with the attacks on the country's energy infrastructure is to demoralize the population.

    Moscow is threatening the USA with consequences for the alleged disruption of the Russian missile early warning system caused by Ukrainian attacks. “The responses may be asymmetrical,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Moscow. “This is not the first time that the Kiev regime has tried to destroy the normal functioning of important links in our military organization, including those in the strategic sphere,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the state news agency Tass on Monday. The deputy minister responsible for nuclear armament accused the USA of behaving “extremely irresponsibly” by not stopping such Ukrainian attacks.

    Wives and mothers of Russian soldiers demonstrated in Moscow for the return of the men from the war zone in Ukraine. Photos and videos were published on social networks showing almost two dozen women, some with small children, on the sidewalk in front of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Several demonstrators had brought signs with slogans such as “It's time for the mobilized to return home” and “Please bring daddy home!” They also demanded a meeting with the new Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov. According to reports, the police immediately took up position with a prisoner transport vehicle and threatened arrests.

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