Ukrainian nuclear power plants back on the grid

The Ukrainian Ministry of Energy announced on Telegram that the three plants controlled by Ukraine had been successfully connected to the grid again this morning. On Wednesday, the state operator Enerhoatom explained on Telegram that the emergency system of the three nuclear power plants Rivne, Pivdennoukrainsk and Khmelnytska had been activated as a result of the shelling. As a result, all reactors were automatically disconnected from the power grid.

Enerhoatom boss Petro Kotin announced that in the course of connecting the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant to the external power grid, the diesel generators for cooling the reactors had also been switched off again. Kotin also said that Russia’s shelling created a “real threat of nuclear disaster.” According to him, it was the first time in 40 years that all reactors in the country had to be taken off the grid.

Repair work at the Zaporizhia NPP

IMAGO/Alexey Kudenko

Repair work at the Zaporizhia NPP

Kyiv largely still without electricity

After the nuclear power plants were switched off as a result of the attacks, there were power outages across the country. According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, 70 percent of households in Kyiv are still without electricity. But at least it was possible to supply the parts of the city on the left bank of the Dnipro with water again.

Journalists reported that they had never seen the city so dark. The administration of the three-million-inhabitant metropolis wanted to use hand-operated sirens and loudspeakers to warn of possible further air raids in parts of the city without electricity. “The situation in Kyiv is difficult,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Partly complicated situation in other cities

Municipal services are working flat out to repair the damage, but Kiev’s electricity supply also depends on the stability of the entire energy system in Ukraine. According to Kiev, the Russian military shot down around 70 rockets and drones on Ukraine on Wednesday. As in the previous attacks, the targets were primarily objects in the energy sector.

Kyiv at night without electricity

AP/Andrew Kravchenko

A night view of Kyiv – the majority of people have to live without electricity and water

By Thursday noon, the power supply had only been restored in some regions. The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadowyj, reported that electricity was restored. The situation remained difficult in other regions such as Odessa and Chernihiv. The neighboring former Soviet Republic of Moldova is still partially without electricity. The energy grid of the two countries is closely connected.

Zelenskyi: “Crimes against humanity”

“The occupiers do everything to make people suffer, so that we don’t even feel or see each other,” President Zelenskyy said in his evening video address. He was also connected to an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York and described the attacks on the power grid as “crimes against humanity”. Moscow should be condemned as a “terrorist state”. The meeting of the council was put on the agenda at short notice after Zelenskyj’s request.

By the evening, 2,750 emergency contact points had been put into operation nationwide, with heating, light, water, internet and telephone for citizens. More than 4,000 such “stability points” in schools and administration buildings have already been prepared nationwide, it said the day before. More should follow.

Macron wants to talk to Putin again

French President Emmanuel Macron described the attacks on electricity and water supplies as war crimes that should have consequences. At the same time, Macron announced that he would soon be in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin again. The US and Germany also condemned the attacks. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Putin to withdraw his troops and agree to peace talks with Ukraine.

In the UN Security Council, the UN representative for political affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, had strongly condemned the attacks on critical infrastructure. Such attacks are prohibited under international human rights law and those responsible must be held accountable for violations.

Russia: Kyiv to take ‘realistic stance’

Russia will continue to decimate Ukraine’s military potential until Kyiv takes a “realistic stance” on negotiations, Moscow’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebensia told the Security Council. The attacks on infrastructure are the answer “to the country being pumped full of Western weapons and the unwise calls for Kyiv to achieve a military victory over Russia”. Ukraine aims to expel Russian troops from all occupied territories.

At a defense summit of former Soviet republics, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for a peace agreement. “As for Ukraine, I believe the time has come for a collective search for a peace formula,” Tokayev said at the summit of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

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