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Putin Keeps Smashing Away at Ukraine’s Power Grid

Tu-22M3M from the Russian Air Force. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian Strikes Hit Private DTEK Ukrainian Energy Infrastructure – Private energy infrastructure in Ukraine owned by DTEK was hit by Russian strikes more than a dozen times over the last two months, with local reports confirming on Thursday that strikes on December 1 injured two of the company’s workers.

The strikes were confirmed in an official statement published on the DTEK Telegram channel. The post revealed the extent of the damage being done by Russia’s ongoing campaign to take out the Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

“Today, Russian troops carried out another shelling of DTEK’s energy enterprises,” the statement reads. “As a result of the enemy attack, two power engineers were wounded.”

The statement described how the injured members of staff were treated at the scene and taken to a nearby hospital. Both members of staff are stable and their injuries are not life-threatening.”

The official statement also revealed how the private energy company has suffered 16 strikes over the last two months alone.

“Over the past two months, our enterprises have already suffered 16 terrorist attacks by Russia,” it reads. “The enemy cannot break us! Let’s hold on.”

What Is DTEK?

DTEK is the biggest private investor in Ukraine’s energy industry. The company employs 56,000 people and operators in the solar, wind, thermal, coal mining, and natural gas energy industries.

Working alongside state-run Ukrenergo, the private energy group controls around 90% of domestic coal production and oversees around 80% of heat generation throughout Ukraine.

Russia Defends Strikes

Russian authorities continue to defend the strikes, insisting that the country’s energy infrastructure remains a “legitimate target” for the Russian military.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly described the Ukrainian power grid as a legitimate target, even as the United Nations and NATO countries warn that the attacks – which could ultimately leave millions of Ukrainians without power in the dead of winter – likely amount to war crimes.

Speaking just days after Russian missile and drone strikes disabled much of the power grid in southern Kherson, leaving six million people without power, Lavrov said in a press conference that Russian forces were not targeting the power grid with the intent of depriving civilians of electricity and heat. Instead, the Russian official said that the strikes were targeted at facilities that are providing Ukrainian forces with weapons from Western countries, though he did not offer any further details.

Kyiv Promises Putin Won’t “Steal Christmas” With Energy Infrastructure Attacks

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko responded to Russia’s wave of attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by insisting that Russia won’t “steal” Christmas from his people.

Speaking to Ukrainian news channel RBC-Ukraine, Mayor Klitschko said that Kyiv “cannot let Putin steal our Christmas” and promised that, despite martial law preventing mass public events, Christmas and New Year celebrations would not be canceled.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.