Russia Targets Ukraine Power System Overnight in New Barrage

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine said Russia targeted energy facilities overnight as President Vladimir Putin’s forces continue attacks to disrupt the country’s power system.

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Russian strikes have caused blackouts across Ukraine this year, leaving the authorities racing to repair infrastructure before peak demand in winter, with 9 gigawatts of capacity already lost. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has appealed for investment to build as much as 1 gigawatt of decentralized generating capacity in the next three to four months.

Kremlin forces attacked the central Dnipropetrovsk and Vinnytsia regions, as well as the area surrounding Kyiv and part of the eastern Donetsk region, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry said on Telegram on Thursday. It didn’t specify what infrastructure was hit.

DTEK, the country’s largest non-state power producer, said three workers were wounded in the barrage, which did serious damage to a thermal power plant. This was the seventh attack against the company’s facilities over the past three months, DTEK said on Telegram. A high-voltage power grid east of Kyiv was also affected, with more than 5,000 buildings connected to reserve power sources as repair work continued.

The assault forced national grid operator Ukrenergo to expand power rationing, though supply to critical infrastructure won’t be limited, it said on Telegram.

Five out of nine missiles launched by Russia overnight were downed, as were all 27 explosive-laden drones, Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said. Air defense failed to intercept Iskander-M ballistic missiles fired from Russia’s Voronezh region.

In Russia, the Defense Ministry said nine Ukrainian drones had been downed overnight over the southern Adygeya and Krasnodar regions. A woman died when a drone fell on a house in the Krasnodar region, the local governor said on Telegram.

An attack caused a fire to a fuel depot in Adygeya, regional head Murat Kumpilov said on Telegram, while the authorities in the Tambov region said that a presumed drone attack caused a fire at a fuel reservoir.

The overnight drone attack against Russian facilities was organized by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), an official with the knowledge of the operation said. It targeted a fuel depot and a Lukoil-owned fuel base. Since the start of the war, SBU drones have made more than 30 successful attacks Russian energy infrastructure, the official said.

--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska.

(Updates with information on grid damage, SBU drone attack)

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