Airstrike leaves 100,000 without power in Ukraine


A Russian attack on a power plant in Ukraine has left 100,000 people in the northwestern Sumy region without electricity.

Work is underway to restore power supplies, national grid operator Ukrenergo said, after strikes caused emergency shutdowns for consumers in the city and region of Sumy, which borders Russia.

There have been no reports of casualties or damage apart from the power plant, Reuters reports.

Russia continues to bomb energy facilities across Ukraine, often forcing the country into prolonged power outages, while people face sweltering summer months without running water, air conditioning, or life-saving medical equipment.

A mother kisses her baby during a blackout following a Russian attack on Ukraine's electrical grid. The baby rests on a changing mat.A mother kisses her baby during a blackout following a Russian attack on Ukraine's electrical grid. The baby rests on a changing mat.

Ukrainian mother Maryna Tkalich kisses her two-month-old baby during a power outage in June. (Reuters)

In the past three months aloneUkraine has lost nine gigawatts of generating capacity, the national energy company Ukrenergo reported. The company lost all of its thermal power stations to enemy action, and all of its hydroelectric power stations were damaged by drone or missile attacks.

According to the national grid operator, this is sufficient to supply the whole of the Netherlands with electricity during peak hours and more than a third of the capacity that Ukraine had before the large-scale Russian invasion in February 2022.

Poland has been diverting surplus electricity to Ukraine to help it cope with Russian attacks, but Ukrenego has planned to cut power across the country throughout the day as domestic generation and imported electricity could not cover the shortfall.

Maria Tsaturian of Ukrenergo told the BBC she was aware that there was a lot of anger directed at her company for cutting off electricity so often, for so long and for so many customers. But, she said, there was no other option.

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

“This is the price we pay for freedom.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian anti-aircraft guns shot down 24 of the 27 Shahed kamikaze drones launched by Russia on the night of July 5-6, the air force command reported on Telegram.

The drones were intercepted over areas such as the Sumy region, using electronic jamming and air defenses.

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