Russia Deals Crippling Blow to Ukraine

( – Ukraine is threatened by an electricity crisis after Russia destroyed one of the besieged country’s most important power plants. The plant was hit by a barrage of missiles, and all its key equipment seems to have been destroyed. The loss of its generating capacity isn’t a big deal for now, with summer approaching, but there could be serious consequences when winter returns.

Early on April 11, multiple Russian missiles struck the Trypilska power plant, a coal and diesel-fired generation facility near Kyiv. Video of the plant shows a large building, described in some reports as the turbine workshop, on fire. Centrenergo owns the plant. Andriy Hota, the company’s chairman, said the devastation at Trypilska was “terrifying,” and the strike had destroyed “the transformer, the turbines, the generators.” Hota added that the plant’s staff had survived the attack because they took cover as soon as the first weapon hit, but the plant itself is out of action.

So is Centrenergo. It used to operate three power plants. One in the Donetsk region was captured by the Russian invaders in 2022, while one near Kharkiv was destroyed last month. Trypilska was the last, and now it’s gone, too.

The attack on Trypilska was part of a wave of strikes across Ukraine that involved at least 80 missiles and drones. Two other power plants were also damaged, causing “significant stress” on Ukraine’s electricity grid. The Kharkiv metro system was temporarily shut down after the attacks and is still working intermittently because the power supply isn’t stable.

Hota warned that while Ukraine can survive without the plant through the summer. However, when the weather turns cold again, it will become a “giant problem.” He said it can be repaired, but called on Western nations to send more air defense systems to protect against more attacks. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the attacks on power plants were part of his goal of “demilitarizing” Ukraine. In reality, Ukraine’s military is still fighting — but civilians in the three regions of the country supplied by the Trypilska plant are now short of electricity.

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