Several Ukrainian officials have warned that the country is facing a harsh winter but can overcome it despite Russian missile strikes on its infrastructure.
Maksym Tymchenko, Chief Executive Officer of DTEK, a major energy company, said he was confident there was no chance “for the Russians to plunge Ukraine into darkness”.
Still, there was a shortage of power generation and problems with electricity transmission, he told the Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.
In the capital, he said, the company was “trying to introduce continuous controlled blackouts: 3-4 hours of power, followed by a 4-hour break. This situation, we hope, will only last until next week, if no further attacks. But we are prepared for further attacks.”
He said all six of DTEK’s power stations had been attacked, some multiple times. As of Friday, he said, the company has managed to get them all back online.
In addition, he said, “We have managed to accumulate enough coal supply for the country, not just for our company. We have enough gas storage to use gas for power generation. So we have enough capacity for the whole country.”
The problem, however, was with connections and transmission, Tymchenko said.
“Transformers, substations, high-voltage transformers: this is what we are in short supply of and for which we rely on our international partners. Some of the equipment is already on its way to Ukraine,” he said.
Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said last week that Kiev was experiencing a near-total blackout. “There was no heat and water supply. And about 4,000 utility employees worked day and night to restore it.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told the forum that the coming months will be difficult.
He added: “The enemy still has considerable resources, but there are growing signs that he needs a break at all costs.”