After Russian attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine this week, the country is accelerating to restore power to citizens’ homes, but bad weather in the form of sub-zero temperatures, rain and winds is hampering efforts, according to officials.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, warned on Friday that millions of Ukrainians are “indulging in extreme suffering and appalling living conditions” because of it.
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Half of Kyiv’s population left without electricity: About 50% of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was without power, according to Ukrainian authorities, on Friday morning, in the wake of the Russian strikes.
The Kyiv city military administration said water had been fully restored and emergency crews were working quickly to restore heating to the city.
Electricity deficit: Although power has been restored to critical infrastructure in all regions of Ukraine, efforts to return electricity to domestic consumers have slowed according to the national electric utility Ukrenergo. The company said on Friday that electricity shortages continue and consumers will sometimes lose access to electricity under “planned and emergency consumption restriction schedules.”
News of Russian bombing near Zaporizhia and Nikopol: Russia bombed the outskirts of the city of Zaporozhye in southern Ukraine on Friday night, Oleksandr Starukh, head of the local regional military administration, said in a cable on Friday, while the Dnipropetrovsk region is across the river from the Russian-occupied nuclear Zaporizhia region. The factory, reportedly, was bombed.
A UN regulatory agency supports four more nuclear power plants in Ukraine: The International Atomic Energy Agency has begun providing on-site support to four more Ukrainian nuclear power plants — Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, Southern Ukraine and Chernobyl — in response to a request from the country, the agency’s director general said Thursday. Rafael Mariano Grossi, in a video statement.
Following the blows to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, operating nuclear power plants in Zaporizhia, Rivne, southern Ukraine and Khmelnytskyi were disconnected from the grid and “had to rely on backup diesel generators to get the electricity they needed to ensure their continued safety and security”. Grossi said.
NATO “will not back down” from supporting Ukraine: NATO will not reduce its support for Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Friday.
Stoltenberg said the foreign ministers were providing “unprecedented military support” and expected to accept increased “non-lethal support” at the Bucharest meeting.