Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that he expects Russia to resume its attacks on Ukraine’s energy system once cold weather returns later this year and vowed to do everything possible to protect the power grid.
Nearly 40% of the Ukrainian energy system was damaged in Russian missile and drone strikes over the past winter, which plunged Ukrainian cities into darkness and cold in what Kyiv called a deliberate strategy to harm civilians and a war crime.
Reuters reported that Moscow says it launched the attacks to reduce Ukraine’s ability to fight.
Since warm weather returned, strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have subsided in place of attacks on other targets. But Zelenskiy said during a visit to the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk on Sunday that he expected attacks on energy to resume.
He said, “It is obvious that this fall and… in the winter, the enemy will try to repeat the terror against the Ukrainian energy industry. We should be ready for this in any case.
“At the government and security level, we will do everything possible.”
Zelenskiy said the government, security officials, and energy workers were working to protect the energy system from physical damage, sabotage, or cyberattacks. Every city and town in Ukraine should be ready to handle energy sector emergencies, he added.
The nation made it through the previous winter thanks to quick repairs, which frequently relied on backup energy supplies sent by Kyiv’s Western allies. Energy Minister German Galushchenko expressed confidence this week that Ukraine could meet its generation needs during the cold months.