Ukraine rushes to restore power that was destroyed by Russian airstrikes
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Power was gradually restored to Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, on Thursday, a day after Russian missile attacks caused the biggest blackouts in Kyiv in nine months of war.
Regional authorities said 25% of households in Kyiv still had no power, but water supply had been restored in some areas and would start working in other areas later on Thursday.
In a big improvement from Wednesday, when authorities said power had been lost to the entire Kyiv region, public transport was operating in the capital, with buses replacing trams to save energy.
“We will persevere, despite everything,” the Kyiv regional military administration said in a statement.
Energy Minister German Galushchenko said three nuclear power plants shutdown due to Wednesday’s attacks were expected to come back online later on Thursday, and this would help alleviate supply problems.
“The situation is difficult throughout the country,” he said in televised remarks, but added that the national energy system had been “reunited” after damage during missile attacks and that power generation would increase through Thursday.
Kyiv was one of the main targets of Wednesday’s attacks on power facilities that knocked out power in many regions and necessitated emergency blackouts in others to conserve power and allow for repairs as winter sets in.
Temperatures dropped below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight in a city that had a prewar population of 2.8 million and where it has already snowed and the streets are icy.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said power had been restored in the Kirovohrad and Vinnytsia regions.
Power has also largely returned to the northern Sumy region, and 3,000 miners who had been trapped underground during a power outage have been brought to the surface in central Ukraine, regional officials said.