How Kyiv copes with the power outages

TEvery day Volodymyr Kudrytskyj receives new bad news. A broken power line in the south, a destroyed power plant in the west, a broken substation in the east. It is an unequal battle that the CEO of the Ukrainian electricity supplier Ukrenergo is currently fighting. “The time to launch a missile at civilian infrastructure is much less than the time it takes us to rebuild.”

For a long time he struggles for words when he speaks, his eyelids droop. For the past two years, 36-year-old Kudrytsky has been making sure that Ukrainians can watch TV, do laundry and turn on the coffee machine in the morning. On the very morning that the FAZ met him for an interview, there were 450,000 residents Kievs no more electricity. “It’s a direct result of Russia’s missile attacks,” he says. “They know exactly what to hit in order to do as much damage as possible to the Ukrainian capital’s energy supply.”

Kudrytskyj is sitting at a conference table in Ukrenergo’s headquarters. In front of him is a card Ukraine. Red, yellow and brown dots mark the objects that Russia has already attacked. They are spread across the country, most power plants have been hit at least once. The number 1 thermal power plant in Kyiv is also there, just a few steps from Kudrytskyj’s office.

The damage is hardly visible from the outside. Only the missing windows indicate that a combat drone ended its kamikaze flight there a few weeks ago and exploded. Smoke rises into the air from two of the eight chimneys, and things are already working at a low level. For Kudrytskyj are of Russia Attacks “the largest attacks on a country’s power infrastructure in human history”.

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