In a surprise announcement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russia said it would target ten power facilities in Ukraine, including those in Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv. The Kremlin has been targeting Ukraine’s power grids for months and has already cut off entire regions from the rest of the country. In addition, tensions are high as Russia continues to weaponize European borders. In this piece, I am going to discuss what this escalation says about Russian strategy, how vulnerable Ukraine is to these attacks, and why they may be an attempt to elicit sympathy from Western audiences while creating more tension across Europe.
An introduction to the situation
However, before we get into that, let’s look at this from the ground up.
Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is the industrial heart of Ukraine. It has, over the decades, been a site of heavy industry and manufacturing. Steel plants, power facilities, and factories line the Donbas River, which travels through Russia to join the rest of the delta in Odesa Oblast. The area is also heavily mined with old Soviet weapons left over from World War II, and some mines are so unstable that they are not marked on maps for safety reasons. Demining teams often guard them, and there have been several large explosions in just this area in the past several months. Furthermore, there are five power plants in the region, and three of them have been targeted:
Further, the second one on this list is Zhovti Vody. This plant was more recently the target of a pro-Russia terrorist attack that killed two guards and injured two others. A group called the People’s Regional Army (NPA) took responsibility for the attack.
The third site was formerly part of the Yukhnov Power Plant, but today it is called the "Zaporizhstal Thermal Power Station." It was taken over by pro-Russia terrorists starting in April 2016 and used as a headquarters for their attacks on power facilities across eastern Ukraine. There are also two other plants in the region, but only one is functional. Six facilities are being threatened, and Russia lists them on its map.
Now, let’s look at the situation from Russia’s perspective.
Russia has done this before. They have cut off power to most of Ukraine to force another Minsk agreement or to send a message to Kyiv when they think they have their way of negotiating figured out.
To conclude the topic, The Kremlin has been targeting Ukraine's power grids for months and has already cut off entire regions from the rest of the country. There are five power plants in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, three of which have been targeted. Russia has done this before by cutting off power to most of Ukraine.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in