The scale of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, visualized

Damaged energy infrastructure in Ukraine. (Video: TWP)

Ukrainian officials are urging people across the country to save energy and warn of a difficult winter after Russia destroyed critical infrastructure. This week, dozens of Russian missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones hit power plants and substations, cutting off electricity, heating and hot water in many cities and forcing factories to temporarily close in some areas.

The Washington Post identified eight power assets in six regions that were damaged or destroyed Monday and Tuesday using images and video shared on social media, along with satellite imagery and fire-tracking data. They give a sense of the scale of the Russian attack and its impact on major cities from Lviv in the west to Kryvyi Rhi in the east.

Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy said the attacks had hit power plants in 12 regions and the capital Kyiv within two days.

Power is back on for now. On Thursday, Ukrainian officials warned that efforts to fully rebuild energy infrastructure could take months.

“This heating season will be very difficult,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the head of Ukraine’s electricity transmission company Ukrenergo, said in a TV interview. He warned that future Russian attacks on the power grid could be expected and that the utility might have to enforce planned cuts in service.

Also Read :  Putin’s mobilization hits Russia’s economy in its weak spots

Ukraine’s allies are scrambling to deploy more sophisticated air defense systems and longer-range weapons to protect the country’s infrastructure.


Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies


Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies



Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Videos circulating on social media on October 10 and 11 show explosions at two key power plants in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. (Video: Left: Twitter; Right: Telegram)

At least three thermal power plants that provide heat, electricity and hot water were damaged in the capital, according to a review by the Post.

A video shared on social media shows two Russian cruise missiles hit cogeneration plant No. 5 in Kyiv. An explosion followed by a large plume of smoke rises from the facility, which supplies both electricity and hot water.

Another video shows a large, dark plume of smoke rising from Kyiv’s No. 6 combined heat and power plant, northeast of the city. And video from a security camera shows a rocket attack on Kiev’s cogeneration plant #3.

Video posted online Oct. 10 shows vital infrastructure in Kyiv damaged when a thermal power plant was hit by Russian missile attacks. (Video: Twitter)

The attacks caused temporary power outages and disruptions to water supplies in the city of an estimated 3 million people during the war.

In an interview with The Post, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the threat of future power outages in winter would compound challenges for city dwellers grappling with Ukraine’s intense cold.

The attack damaged dozens of buildings, killing six and injuring 50, according to Klitschko.

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Video posted to social media on October 10 shows a substation in Lviv damaged during a Russian offensive. (Video: Telegram)

Dash cam footage verified by The Post shows the moment a Russian cruise missile struck a power substation in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Monday. The critical piece of energy infrastructure is used to distribute electricity to the region’s factories, hospitals and homes.

Also Read :  EUR/USD Eyes Jumbo ECB Rate Hike as Recession Looms

An estimated 1.5 million people were left without power. Two substations were destroyed.

“The enemy completely obstructed them,” Maksym Kozytskyi, head of the Lviv regional state administration, told The Post. Reconstruction is expected to take eight to ten months.

But without effective air defenses to shield the region’s power grid from Russian missiles, Kozytskyi fears all efforts to rebuild will be in vain.

“We can restore, and the enemy will strike again,” he said.

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Satellite Image ©2022 Planet Labs PBC

Video posted online Oct. 11 shows a thermal power plant in the Ivano-Frankivsk region surrounded by flames and smoke. (Video: Twitter)

Four Russian rockets hit the Burshtynska thermal power plant in western Ukraine’s Ivano Frankivsk region. Local media reported a sharp drop in power generation and a temporary halt in water heating.

The Burshtynska thermal power plant is one of several plants in western Ukraine that exports electricity to Europe, according to Andrian Prokip, a Kyiv-based energy expert with the Kennan Institute.

The damage stopped Electricity exports in the region affecting neighboring countries along Ukraine’s western border. This is also significant because Ukraine relies on energy export revenues to prop up the country’s war-ravaged economy, Prokip said.

The attacks on infrastructure had little impact on the battlefields to the east and south, where the Ukrainian military is conducting a counteroffensive. The purpose of this week’s nationwide strikes is fear, according to Mason Clark, a senior analyst at the War Institute who has followed the conflict since the invasion began.

“The Kremlin still firmly believes that it can intimidate the Ukrainian people into surrendering,” he said.

Missy Ryan, Kostiantyn Khudov, and Ellen Francis contributed to this report.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.