Russia will try to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this winter

In the upcoming winter, Russia will attempt to demolish Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with more attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his evening briefing on Oct. 6.

Zelensky said Russia will try to “bypass” the country’s air defense systems.

“They cannot understand that Ukraine will not be conquered anyway. But (Russian troops) will try to launch more attacks and have more attempts to bypass our defenses,” Zelensky said.

“We realize the threat completely,” he added.

Russian forces attempted to cripple Ukraine’s energy network with massive strikes during from October to February, leading to frequent blackouts and a lack of heating across the country.

Read also: With winter approaching, is Ukraine’s energy system ready for renewed Russian attacks?

Zelensky’s repeated warning comes as, on Sept. 21, Russia launched its first mass strike on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since March.

Energy facilities in western and central Ukraine have been damaged, and there were partial blackouts in Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv oblasts, according to Ukraine’s state energy operator Ukrenergo.

During his briefing, Zelensky said he heard the reports of military and officials responsible for the protection of the energy systems and highlighted the importance for the regional authorities to prepare for potential winter attacks.

Zelensky also said that Ukraine is taking “more steps” to strengthen its air defense systems in cooperation with partners.

On Oct. 5, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his country will send Ukraine another Patriot air defense system “to help ward off aerial and drone attacks during the coming winter months.”

“Winning this winter, going through all the difficulties, and protecting our people is very important,” Zelensky said during the briefing.

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