Power Partially Restored In Russian-Occupied Kherson

The Ukrainian city in the region that Moscow annexed in September was cut off from power and water supplies on Sunday following damage to power lines.
People walking across street in the dark.
Posted at 10:08 AM, Nov 07, 2022

Russian-appointed authorities say they are working to partially restore power in the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson following what they have called a Ukrainian “terrorist attack” on power lines.

The southern city in the region that Moscow illegally annexed in September was cut off from power and water supplies on Sunday following damage to three power lines.

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the pro-Kremlin administration of the partially occupied Kherson region, said Monday that “power and connectivity is being partially restored" in Kherson city. The alleged attack occurred on the Berislav-Kakhovka power line, and Russian state media reported on Sunday that the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station had also been damaged by Ukrainian strikes.

Ukrainian officials haven't responded to the allegations.

Stremousov has repeatedly called for civilians to evacuate from Kherson — which lies on the western bank of the Dnieper River — to Russian-controlled territory on the eastern bank in anticipation of a major Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake the strategic port city.

Tens of thousands of civilians have already left the regional capital after being ordered to evacuate the area in October in the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive which has retaken around 88 settlements in the region, or around 13% of territory previously held by Russian forces.

A daily update from Ukraine’s presidential office on Monday said that Russian soldiers in plainclothes have been moving into apartments in Kherson that civilians had left during the evacuation. One Kherson resident told The Associated Press that Russian military personnel were going door to door, checking property deeds and forcing tenants to leave immediately if they can’t prove ownership of apartments.

Last month, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that occupying Russian forces in the Kherson region had been purposefully shutting off electricity and water and depriving the population of internet access in order to force them to evacuate.

Yet on Monday, the region’s Russian-installed administration announced it was halting “the movement of civilian vehicles across the Dnieper by water and pontoon ferry,” citing “increased military danger” and threats to civilians.

Russia has focused on striking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure over the last month, causing power shortages and rolling outages across the country. The capital, Kyiv, was having hourly rotating blackouts Sunday in parts of the city and the surrounding region.

Ukraine’s state-owned electricity grid operator Ukrenergo on Monday announced additional power outages in the Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Sumy, Kharkiv, Poltava and Zhytomyr regions.

To repair the energy system, experts say that Ukraine needs high-voltage transformers and distribution and communication equipment, and that the deliveries must be systematic.

“It is important that there are constant, not one-time deliveries,” Gennadii Riabtsev, chief researcher on energy security at the National Institute for Strategic Studies, told the AP.

The first delivery of high voltage transformers from the European Union is expected in the coming weeks, but this supply isn't enough to significantly improve the situation, he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation Sunday that about 4.5 million people were without electricity across the country. He called on Ukrainians to endure the hardships, saying, “we must get through this winter and be even stronger in the spring than now.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.