Ukraine swerves energy meltdown despite Putin’s bombardment

A corruption scandal that has rocked Ukraine has not impacted energy repairs as Russian strikes continue to rain down on the country, has been told. Ukraine has been subjected to missile barrages in brutal Russian offensives targeting critical energy infrastructure. The attacks have previously plunged entire cities into darkness in blackouts lasting hours and forced citizens to adapt to the harsh situations.

However, Pavlo Kukhta, an energy expert and former member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Government, says that the situation has vastly improved as the maintenance workers now know exactly what to do when missiles start flooding in.

He said: “The energy companies in Ukraine have learnt how to cope with the situation. There is also a lot support available from the West so the resources are there.

“They have more or less learnt how make repairs so the situation is improving. And the warmer it gets, the better it will get because energy consumption will drop, meaning more power will be available.

“This is very tentative though as war is uncertain, but things appear to be going uphill from here.”

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This is despite the sacking of a deputy infrastructure minister over a case linked to the overpriced public purchase of electrical generators, which help to keep the power running when the grid is down.

Kyiv allocated 1.68 billion hryvnias (£35.8million) for the purchase of the power-generating equipment that was essential for getting Ukraine through the winter.

Vasyl Lozynskiy was arrested on allegations of corruption and dismissed from his post as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine investigated the matter.

Mr Zelenskyy said: “This week will be a time for appropriate decisions. I don’t want to announce them now, but it will all be fair. In each situation, we will analyze everything in detail.

“The issues related to energy and procurement. The relations between the central government and the regions. Everything related to procurement for the military.”

However, while this may have raised concerns over the ability to keep the power running in Ukraine, Mr Kukhta explained that the scandal has not impacted the energy situation in any way.

He said: “The infrastructure is repaired by engineers and energy companies. They are like the military and just doing their job. These scandals do not touch the organisations managing the energy crisis.

“The main players are the companies who own the equipment, the system operator and the other big countries operating big regional electricity supply chains. They have not been implicated in these scandals in any way.”

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However, Mr Kukhta said that in terms of repairs, the nation needs to stay vigilant as there is a chance Russian strikes could return in full force.

He said: “It seems like there will be more military strikes both ways going forward and we will see what these will bring.”

However, he is hopeful that there is an end in sight on the horizon to the conflict that has been dragging on since mid-February 2022.

But he warned: “War is uncertain and there are heavy battles going on in the East. At some point we need to see the solution on the table but so far the Russians are not willing to negotiate.

“Hopefully proper negotiations can start and we can get to some kind of armistice that gets rid of the bloodshed. That is the most important thing at this point.”

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