Undeterred: The DTEK inscription on a workers's jacket. The Ukraine power company has been hard hit by the latest Russian strikes. (Maks Muravsky/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)


Ukraine switches off power exports as Russian attacks hit home


Amid a continued Russian bombardment on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure that has seen its top power producer DTEK lose 50 per cent of its capacity, Kyiv sharply increased imports of electricity and halted exports, the energy ministry and distributor said.

“For the current day, electricity imports are forecast at 14,900 megawatt hour [MWh]. No exports are expected,” the ministry said on March 24.

Ukraine imported 3,300 MWh before the attacks started on March 22, with exports of 2,148 Mwh. One MWh equals 1,000 kilowatts of electricity generated per hour.

On average, a household consumes around 800 to 1,000 kWh of electricity per month (one kW equals 1,000 watts of energy), totalling approximately 9,600 to 12,000 kWh annually, said Anker Solix which, according to PR Newswire, aims to bring energy independence to people globally.

Generating and transmission facilities were first attacked by Russia on March 22, causing significant blackouts in many regions. Energy facilities in three Ukrainian regions were also targeted, continuing on March 24.

“Losses [as of the initial assault] have already been assessed and the DTEK group has lost 50 per cent of its generating capacity, we can say this information officially,” the head of Yasno distribution firm Serhiy Kovalenko told national television.

He gave no further details. DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power-generating company, has not commented.

Kovalenko said Russians attacked two parts of the energy system – generation and distribution, hitting both thermal and hydropower plants.

“The enemy hit hard at grid nodes and transformers,” he said.

The energy ministry also said that on March 24, Russians had targeted other critical energy infrastructure facilities in the Lviv region of Ukraine.

“Equipment caught fire and the facility was de-energised. There were no casualties. The consequences are being assessed,” the ministry said.

Ukrainian city Lviv’s Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on Telegram there were no attacks on it directly but some 20 missiles and seven attack drones had been launched against the broader Lviv region, targeting “critical infrastructure”.

The ministry said that as a result of the attacks, power lines in the Kyiv region were damaged and 1,400 households in two settlements had lost power.

As Brussels Signal reported a few hours earlier on March 24, Russia violated Poland’s airspace with a cruise missile launched at targets in western Ukraine, according Poland’s armed forces.

“On March 24 at 4:23am (03.23 GMT), there was a violation of Polish airspace by one of the cruise missiles launched overnight by long-range aviation of the Russian Federation,” the armed forces said on X.

In the latest bombardment, an underground gas storage site in Ukraine was attackedsaid Ukraine’s state-run Naftogaz energy firm , which insisted that underground gas storage (UGS) supplies to consumers had not been affected.

Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov said equipment was damaged in the strike and repairs were proceeding.

“The situation will not critically impact the UGS operations since the gas is stored deep underground,” Chernyshov said on Facebook.

“The damaged surface infrastructure will need repairs, however, we have sufficient backup capacities in place to mitigate any immediate impacts.

Chernyshov said earlier that the company was “keeping up” with all customer demand.

The energy ministry said in a statement: “For the current day, electricity imports are forecast at 14,900 megawatt hours (MWh). No exports are expected.”

Chernyshov said his company was currently working on localising and eliminating the impact of the Russian attacks.

“There are no critical consequences for the operation of the [underground] storage facilities, as the gas is at a considerable depth. The damaged part of the ground infrastructure will need to be restored, but we have sufficient back-up capacities,” he insisted.

Most of Ukraine’s gas storage capacity is in the western part of the country and it is able to store around 30 billion cubic metres of gas.

Additional reporting by Reuters