Repeated Russian bombardments of energy infrastructure in and around Kyiv have left the Ukrainian capital with only enough electricity for about 20 percent of the city’s 3.3 million residents, energy officials say grid stable.
“Unfortunately, ten hours without electricity in Kyiv is a new reality,” said Serhii Kovalenko, the head of the local energy supplier Yasno, on Monday evening.
In the latest spate of Russian attacks on Monday, Ukraine’s air force reported shooting down 30 of about 35 drones aimed at targets across the country, but Mr Kovalenko said a critical piece of infrastructure in Kyiv was hit. This strike cut electricity to homes and businesses on the right bank of the Dnipro River, which flows through the center of the city.
All of the city’s critical infrastructure has electricity, he said, including hospitals, water utilities and subways. But officials can’t say when utilities will be able to provide a reliable timetable for outages that would allow the capital’s estimated two million wartime residents to better plan their everyday lives.
Months of repeated bombing have left tens of millions of Ukrainians across the country grappling with lengthening periods without heat, electricity and running water. After each wave of strikes, utility workers attempt to make repairs, but that effort grows more difficult with each new attack on already crippled infrastructure.
As winter grips the country and temperatures plummet well below freezing, the central heating system that warms millions of homes is also at risk. A survey released Tuesday by the International Rescue Committee, an aid agency, found that 25 percent of people displaced from their homes by fighting in Ukraine now live in homes without access to adequate heating.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that as a result of the power outages in the capital, 10 boiler plants had no reliable power, volatility likely to disrupt heating in 144 apartment buildings. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday each wave of Russian missiles and drones could hit tens of millions of people.
Even before Monday’s drone strikes, rocket fire on Friday left over 22 million Ukrainians without electricity and another 10 million without water.