As Ukraine’s leader warned that the Kremlin is preparing further strikes to do more significant harm to the energy grid, NATO commander Jens Stoltenberg accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using “winter as a weapon.”
In his weekly video message, President Volodymyr Zelensky declared, “As long as they have missiles, they will not quiet down.” “The upcoming week might be just as challenging as the one that just ended.”
As supply constraints grew fast early on Monday, the Ukrainian energy system’s capacity to satisfy electricity demand fell to 73%, according to the country’s national grid operator Ukrenergo. As usage rises in response to the increasing weather, the operator utilises emergency cuts to balance the system.
On the Ground
Residential neighbourhoods in Kherson, which was just freed, were still being shelled by Russian forces. Seventeen per cent of the consumers there had their electricity restored. While concentrating their offensive efforts on the Lyman district of Donetsk, Russian soldiers also attacked regions around Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine, according to the General Staff of Ukraine. Russian military aviation activity has increased, according to Ukrainian Air Defense. It further said that Ukrainians should be prepared for more rocket assaults.
According to Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, the US is still “very confident” that Finland and Sweden will resolve Turkey’s security concerns and join the NATO alliance in the “not-too-distant future.”
Smith stated in a briefing before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, “We believe – and we’ve heard directly from the three nations in issue – that those talks have taken place amongst the three countries have been positive.” “We will depend on Sweden, Finland, and Turkey to carry on the conversation that has already begun.”
Ukrenergo CEO: We’re in discussions with our neighbours about power imports.
In light of anticipated more Russian missile attacks, Ukrenergo Chief Executive Officer Volodymyr Kudrytskyi stated that the grid operator is discussing power imports with peers in Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.
According to Kudrytskyi, the nation’s energy infrastructure has already been subjected to seven significant rounds of assaults. Since Kyiv and the surrounding area use 15-20% of Ukraine’s electricity yet do not generate enough of it themselves; they are particularly susceptible to outages. According to Kudrytskyi, this might significantly impact the capital’s electrical supply if transmission substations nearby and production facilities in the city are damaged.
According to officials with knowledge of the situation, European Union member states will meet Monday evening to pick up where they left off in their discussions over regulating the price of Russian crude oil.
The diplomats noted that although discussions were put on hold last week, the scheduling of a meeting is a promising indication that a settlement could be close. Since the weekend, smaller-scale consultations have been taking place.
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s vital infrastructure, which have left millions of people without access to dependable electricity and water, might continue, as stated by NATO’s Stoltenberg.
“It’s horrifying that President Putin is now attempting to exploit the cold as a weapon in his conflict with Ukraine. In Bucharest, ahead of a two-day conference of foreign ministers, Stoltenberg told reporters, “We need to be ready for additional assaults. According to the alliance commander, one of the main takeaways from the meeting would be the necessity of sending more air defence systems—along with spare parts, training, and ammunition to maintain those systems—to Ukraine.
Except for Kamet Steel, all Metinvest plants in Ukraine have resumed operations following power outages, the firm stated in a regulatory statement.
After the facility was shut down, Metinvest said it was still evaluating potential damage and uncertain when it may reopen. According to the statement, this might halt production at the Bulgarian Promet Steel factory of Metinvest.