Ukraine is bracing for aerial assaults from Russia targeting its energy infrastructure, as revealed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on October 25 during a routine conference call.
“Anticipating acts of terrorism against our energy facilities, we are not merely on the defensive this year but are also poised to retaliate. Our adversaries are fully aware of this. Initially, they withdrew their naval forces from Crimea, and now they are repositioning their aircraft away from our frontiers,” Zelenskyy stated on his Telegram channel.
Zelenskyy underscored that the opposition is bent on annihilating anything within its reach. “In Berislav and Borova, we are mitigating the aftermath of bombardments and aiding the populace,” he remarked, referring to recent onslaughts on civic structures in the Kherson and Kharkov districts.
Alexei Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, asserted on Ukrainian Radio on October 20 that the nation’s energy grid is now more fortified against missile strikes than in the previous year. “Whenever we convene a meeting with the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, air defence is invariably a key topic. The manner in which we acquire air defence systems—whether through leasing, logistical support, or outright purchase—is of secondary importance,” Danilov explained.
Naftogaz Fortifies its Defenses
To avert a potential gas crisis, NJSC Naftogaz has instituted an all-encompassing security framework for its facilities. Alexey Chernyshov, the CEO of NJSC Naftogaz, emphasized that the organization is equipped for diverse contingencies. “We are fully cognizant of the ongoing full-scale conflict, and the adversary will endeavour to deprive Ukrainians of essential services,” he declared.
International Support for Ukraine’s Infrastructure
The US has earmarked $522 million for the restoration and safeguarding of Ukraine’s energy sector, as announced by Prime Minister Denis Shmygal on October 17. Germany, too, has pledged to bolster Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, allocating an additional 195 million euros for the purpose.
Resilience Amidst Adversity
Yuriy Korolchuk, an expert from the Institute of Energy Strategies, noted that significant repairs were needed for about 30 of Ukrenergo’s 90 substations, which supply electricity to Ukrainians. “Even without missile attacks, power outages could occur due to climatic conditions,” he warned.
Political Readiness for a ‘Militarized’ Winter
Political analyst Vitaly Litvinenko emphasized the need for Ukraine to be prepared not just militarily but also in terms of infrastructure. “Ukraine is striving for independence while simultaneously relying on aid from the US and the European Union. The country must be prepared for war in every sense, including infrastructure,” he stated.