18 Nov 2022 11:57

Zelensky: 10 mln Ukrainians left without electricity

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - Ten million Ukrainians were affected by blackouts on Thursday evening, Ukraine's media quoted Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as saying in an overnight video address.

"Again, there are emergency blackouts. Currently [on Thursday evening], more than ten million Ukrainians are without electricity," Zelensky said, adding that "most of them are in the Vinnitsa, Odesa and Sumy regions and in Kiev."

Ukrainian media outlets also said, citing a social media statement by Sergei Kovalenko, CEO of the Yasno company, which supplies power to Kiev, that there were the largest power cuts in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday of more than 500MW. Electricity consumption in Kiev usually stands at 1,000MW-1,200MW per day.

At the same time, according to Ukrainian media reports, Ukrenergo, the operator of Ukraine's high-voltage power lines, categorically denied information circulated by several Telegram channels that power supplies to Ukrainian cities and regions would be halted completely starting November 17 because of strikes.

"Dubious Telegram channels are using the Ukrenergo company's logo to spread fake information, including about a total or a partial blackout in the country," the company said.

"This information is not true, and Ukrenergo has not made any such statements," it said.

Ukrenergo said it plans to resort only to scheduled power cuts on Friday, but, since electricity consumption is growing due to a spell of cold weather, emergency blackouts are also possible.

"Scheduled hourly power cuts will be used throughout Ukraine today, on November 18. Additional emergency blackouts are also possible," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Ukrenergo as saying in a social media post on Friday morning.

Because of the cold snap, electricity consumption has been growing on a daily basis in the country's regions where power supply has already been restored after respective infrastructure was damaged on November 15, it said.

"This adds to the already complicated situation in the power system. The power sector has to apply such restrictions. It is a necessary measure to maintain the stability of the power system," the company said.