“Everything is at stake.” Inside Ukraine’s combat to maintain the facility on
Russian navy assaults on Ukraine’s vitality infrastructure practically triggered a nationwide blackout a number of instances and have broken or destroyed as a lot as 50% of the nation’s energy producing capability, in keeping with Volodymyr Kudrytskyi the CEO of Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s nationwide energy firm.
Since October, Russia has launched assaults on Ukraine’s vitality grid. Iranian made Shahed drones typically goal gear at substations, which convert excessive voltage vitality and transport it to properties and companies. Russia claims the vitality grid is a navy goal. In November, the Pentagon known as the deliberate concentrating on of civilians a conflict crime.
“This infrastructure actually powers tens of millions of homes in this country,” Kudrytskyi instructed 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. “Without electricity, no other type of infrastructure can operate. You name it, like heating systems, water supply systems, internet, mobile connection. Imagine that, suddenly you have no means of civilization at all.”
Kudrytskyi mentioned Russian forces typically goal the identical substation, together with the one Pelley and the 60 Minutes crew visited. That substation was attacked 3 times.
“These objects [were] mostly built during [the] Soviet era, so [the] Russians probably have old blueprints [and] design documents for these objects,” Kudrytskyi instructed Pelley. “They know very well where these substations are located.”
Volodymyr Kudrytskyi instructed 60 Minutes that previous to the Russian invasion Ukraine started stockpiling electrical gear and different wanted restore supplies. He mentioned the ingenuity and pace of Ukraine’s engineers and electrical energy employees has helped maintain the lights on after many assaults. Ukraine has additionally been aided by gear from overseas.
Russia has launched no less than 14 large assaults within the final 18 weeks on Ukraine’s grid. More than 1,000 folks have been working across the clock to revive electrical energy. Some have died on the job. The missile and drone assaults have broken all of Ukraine’s thermal and hydro crops. The nation has been pressured into rolling backouts to keep up the fragile stability between vitality technology and consumption. The schedule has been roughly 4 hours off twice a day, though it typically modifications.
“They [the Russians] are losing at the battlefield,” Kudrytskyi mentioned. “They try to compensate this defeat by attacking electric grid, causing [the] suffering of millions of people in Ukraine, making…normal life of Ukrainians impossible.”
Normality for a lot of Ukraine dissipated final February when Russia started its assault. When it can return is a permanent curiosity backed by a fortified Ukrainian resolve.
“Our military, our warriors…they are fighting for Ukraine with the enemy in the battlefield,” Kudrytskyi mentioned. “But we are here to prevent them from causing [a] major catastrophe in 21st century, which would lead, probably, to many, many [people] suffering and death. So, everything is at stake.”
You can watch Scott Pelley’s newest report from Ukraine beneath.
The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.