Putin claims that Russia is conducting military exercises in Belarus

Ukraine is struggling to restore electricity amid blackouts that last for hours and months

A woman shops during a power outage in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on December 16. (Photo: Sofiia Bobok/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Across Ukraine, electrical engineers fight their daily battle to restore power to homes and public buildings after Russian missile and drone attacks, but they also face much longer outages.

In Ukraine’s far north, residents of Tserkonye in the Kharkiv region have access to electricity for the first time since the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February. According to the regional energy company, 100 consumers in the city have energy again.

“As a result of the hostilities, the damage to electricity networks and equipment is enormous,” the company said. “Transformer substations, poles and cables are damaged. The work is also complicated by the huge amount of mine clearance work in the area. We have already replaced 2 power transformers, which allowed us to supply the first consumers. We have to replace 10 more transformers.”

Elsewhere, recent damage is being addressed.

Oleksandr Starukh, Head of the Military Department of Zaporizhia Region, said in a briefing that the situation in the region is currently difficult.

“Our electrical engineers have succeeded in restoring basic vital systems. People have hot radiators, water supply and sewerage works. Electricity is being supplied as planned,” Staruch said.

“Critical problems have been resolved, except for destroyed infrastructure, which takes time to restore. Equipment needs to be purchased and installed, and it will take time,” Staruch said.

The power shortage is exacerbated by the lack of nuclear generation at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, where all six units are out of service. “It’s partly stuck and partly cold and partly hot,” Staruch explained.

The factory was occupied by the Russians from the beginning of March. Russian officials have repeatedly stated plans to connect the station to the Russian grid across Crimea.

Earlier on Monday, state electricity company Okenergo reported that “all night long, enemy drones have been trying to hack power facilities across the country.”

He said that several facilities were bombed, and the most difficult conditions were in the central, eastern and Dnipro regions.

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