Ukraine’s state energy company said rolling blackouts would continue across the country on Tuesday, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling Ukrainians they are using more energy than is available and the director of one power company warning the outages are likely to last until March.
“Ukraine’s power system has still not fully recovered from the six waves [Russian] the missile hits and cannot operate at full capacity,” the electricity group Ukrenergo wrote on Telegram late Monday.
In his usual nightly speech, Zelenskyy appealed to regional authorities and local communities to repeat pleas to citizens to reduce energy use.
Serhiy Kovalenko, CEO of Ukrainian power supplier Yasno, said that “Ukrainians will most likely have to live with blackouts until at least the end of March.”[ads1];
The best-case scenario, Kovalenko said, was that there were no new Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and “the power deficit can be distributed evenly across the country”.
However, if Russia continues its missile and drone blockades on the power grid, he warned, Ukraine “will have to use not only hourly stabilization shutdowns, but also emergency shutdowns, where there may be some light for a very long time”.
State authorities said last week that more than 10 million people, or about a quarter of Ukraine’s population, were without power after weeks of Russian attacks.
The number and length of power outages across the country, including in the capital Kyiv, have increased in recent days as temperatures plunged below zero and the first snow fell in several regions this week.