By Ebi Kesiena
Approximately half of Kyiv residents are still without electricity on Friday as engineers battled to restore services two days after Russian strikes hammered the country’s energy grid.
Systematic and targeted Russian attacks for weeks have brought Ukraine’s energy infrastructure to its knees as the country careens towards a freezing winter, spurring fears of a health crisis and a further exodus, nine months into war.
Municipal workers struggled Friday to reconnect essential services such as heat and water as temperatures in Kyiv approached freezing and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited to announce a new aid package.
“Half of consumers are still without electricity,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. “A third of houses in Kyiv already have heating and specialists continue to restore it.”
“During the day, energy companies plan to reconnect electricity for all consumers on an alternating basis,” he wrote on Telegram.
Lines of cars queued outside petrol stations in Kyiv on Friday to stock up, while mobile networks in some areas were still experiencing disruptions.
Nationwide, repair work was ongoing, said Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, head of national electricity operator Ukrenergo, but insisted that “the most difficult stage” had passed.
Ukrenergo said that producers were providing more than 70 percent of the need across the country.