Ukraine War: Russian Airstrike Leaves 100,000 Without Power

Comment on the photo, Ukrainian air defenses shot down 24 of the 27 Russian drones that took part in the attacks on the night of July 5-6 (archive photo)

  • author, Vitaliy Shevchenko and Tom McArthur
  • Role, BBC Monitoring and BBC News

A Russian attack on an energy facility in Ukraine has left 100,000 people without power in the Sumy region in the country’s northwest.

National grid operator Ukrinergo said work was underway to restore power after strikes caused emergency outages for consumers in the city and region of Sumy, which borders Russia.

There were no reports of casualties or damage except to the power facility, Reuters reported.

Russia continues to strike energy facilities across Ukraine, often plunging the country into lengthy power outages as people endure scorching summer conditions without running water, air conditioning or life-saving medical equipment.

Comment on the photo, Ukrainian mother Marina Tkalich kisses her two-month-old baby during a power outage in June.

Ukraine’s state energy company UkrEnergo says that in the past three months alone, Ukraine has lost nine gigawatts of power generation capacity, with all its thermal plants lost to enemy operations and all its hydroelectric sites damaged by drones or missile strikes.

That’s enough to power the entire Netherlands during peak hours of consumption, and more than a third of the energy Ukraine had before Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022, according to the national grid operator.

Maria Tsaturyan of Ukrenergo told the BBC she understands there is a lot of anger directed at her company for frequent and prolonged power cuts to a large number of customers. But she says there is no other option.

“We are at war. The energy sector is one of the targets of Russian terrorists. It is clear why: our whole life, our whole civilization, is built on electricity,” she says.

“This is the price we pay for freedom.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian air defenses shot down 24 out of 27 Shahed suicide drones launched by Russia on the night of July 5-6, the Air Force Command reported on Telegram.

She added that the drones were intercepted over areas including the Sumy region, using electronic jamming and air defences.

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