Ukraine has lost 90% of energy capacity ex-minister

A former infrastructure minister says the country faces months of blackouts due to Russian strikes

About 90% of Ukraine’s power generation capacity has been taken out by Russian missile attacks, according to former minister of infrastructure Aleksey Kucherenko.

The situation is not expected to improve dramatically, as the damaged infrastructure cannot be restored quickly, the member of parliament warned during an interview with the YouTube channel Vishka.

"We have lost around eight thousand megawatts of electricity, that’s a lot, out of eight thousand, 800 are currently working," he said, citing power engineers, and warning of extensive power outages through the summer and winter.

Moscow began targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022, after Russia’s Crimean Bridge was bombed that October.

In recent months Russia has intensified its strikes on Ukrainian military and energy facilities. In April, the Russian Defense Ministry said the bombardment was in response to Kiev’s attempts to target Russian oil infrastructure. Since January, Ukraine has launched multiple long-range attacks on energy facilities deep inside Russia, including oil depots and refineries, using kamikaze drones.

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s strikes on energy facilities "directly affect the defense industry of Ukraine," calling them part of "demilitarization" efforts. Moscow reiterated the attacks are only aimed at Ukrainian military targets and facilities that support their operations, and never at the civilian population.

To alleviate the pressure on the power grid, Ukraine has introduced temporary blackouts for industrial and household consumers in all regions. The nation has also ramped up imports of electricity from neighboring EU countries — Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary — and also from Moldova.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko claimed that the combined financial losses from Russian attacks amounted to more than $1 billion, and warned that the figure is likely to rise. He noted that the main damage was to thermal and hydro generation, as well as power transmission systems.

In April, Galushchenko urged Ukrainians to prepare for outages during spring and summer, and advised the population to stock up on electricity generators and power banks.