Blackouts impact Ukraine's defense manufacturing pace — NYT

Evening rolling blackouts hit Kyiv and Ukrainian oblasts
Evening rolling blackouts hit Kyiv and Ukrainian oblasts

The increasing number of Russian strikes on Ukraine’s power plants and energy grid is raising concerns that the rolling blackouts will not only affect consumers, but also hurt Kyiv's defense industry when it needs it most, The New York Times reported on May 20.

"It definitely slows down production and makes it more expensive," said Oleksandr Dmitriyev, who coordinates the military's arms supply effort.

"It is easier for civilians to survive without electricity, but for military production during the war, having it is critically important."

Ukraine's energy company, DTEK, has called on other countries to provide it with used equipment they no longer need.

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"Buying or ordering the production of new equipment quickly is impossible. The only way is to get used equipment from countries that don’t need it anymore, and only their political will is needed for that," said DTEK spokesperson Pavlo Bilodid.

The electric power equipment that can be used is located in post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe, and efforts are underway to transfer it to Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

Read also: 80% of generation lost: DTEK CEO highlights energy sector’s severe challenges amid war

Kyiv is also pressuring its allies for more air defense systems, specifically the American-made Patriot system, to protect its power grid and counter the Russian offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The winter of 2022-23 was especially hard on Ukrainians after Russian forces struck many power plants, leaving much of the population without heat in the bitter cold.

But the lack of air defenses, especially after the slowdown in American aid, has further weakened Ukraine's ability to defend itself against Russian aggression.

Earlier, the Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported that the country’s Energy Ministry would allocate €5 million ($5.43 million) to the Ukraine Energy Support Fund.

The allocated money will be distributed through the Energy Community, an international organization that integrates a pan-European energy market, and used to purchase urgently needed spare parts, generators, and transformers.

Read also: Russia attacks Ukrainian power plants overnight — DTEK

After two months of renewed Russian air strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, household and industrial consumers across the country are now dealing with rolling blackouts during peak consumption hours.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine