As Kiev struggles to maintain a power grid badly damaged by Russian missiles, officials in the Ukrainian capital revealed that they have begun planning a previously unimaginable possibility of a complete blackout, requiring the evacuation of nearly three million residents.
Roman Tkachuk, security director of the Kiev municipality, indicated that if Russia continues to target infrastructure, the city will lose its entire electricity system, according to the New York Times.
He also confirmed that officials in the capital have been told they will likely receive at least 12 hours’ notice that the network is about to collapse, adding that if things get to this point, officials will begin informing people and asking them to leave.
A warm refuge
However, he made it clear that, at least for the time being, the situation can be controlled as there are no indications that large numbers of civilians are fleeing Kiev, noting that things will change quickly if city services are stopped.
He also indicated that if there is no electricity, there will be no water or sanitation, noting that the government and city administration are currently taking all possible measures to protect our energy supply system.
With the arrival of winter, the city has 1,000 heating bunkers in can also protect civilians from Russian missiles, most of them within educational facilities, but authorities have asked not to report their exact location for fear of becoming soft targets.
Focus on energy plants
In parallel, Ukrainian officials said that when Russia launched more than 50 cruise missiles last Monday, most of them were shot down, but those that passed through power plants and substations immediately deprived thousands of people of power.
On Friday, Russian strikes hit a facility run by the company that distributes electricity, which the company said was the 12th plant to be hit last month.
Across the city, engineers have been working to repair damaged electrical infrastructure, although there is no easy way to get the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment they need to restore the entire grid.
4.5 million people private electricity
For its part, on Saturday the Ukrainian National Electric Power Company stressed the need for continuous power outages, stating that it is necessary to “reduce the load on the grids, ensure a sustainable balance of the electricity system and avoid frequent accidents after the power grids have been damaged by Russian missiles and drone attacks “.
Interestingly, Russia recently targeted Ukrainian energy grids. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes left 4.5 million people without electricity.
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