Should we expect new attacks on the energy infrastructure?

September 19, 2022

The Russians intensified shelling of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. "This is an act of desperation after huge losses and retreat of the Russian Federation in the east," the Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said. On September 11, electricity and water were cut in 6 regions following an attack on the Zmiyivka TPP. Russia still has long-range missiles that can damage energy facilities. Should we prepare for blackouts, and how to act in the event of a blackout — in the Hromadske material.

As the winter comes closer, the risk of strikes on critical infrastructure facilities gets stronger, believes the co-director of foreign policy and international security programmes of Razumkov Centre Oleksiy Melnyk.

"In the summer, when it's warm, the daylight hours are longer, we feel easier about it. In the autumn-winter period, the effectiveness of such strikes and the damage are much greater. Their goal is to create as much hardship as possible for the civilian population and to cause riots. They think that people will blame the Ukrainian authorities. But you need to understand: most likely, the effect will be exactly the opposite," says Melnyk.

According to him, such methods will not break the will of the majority of society to resist, on the contrary, they will cause indignation and fuel the negative attitude of the Ukrainians towards Russia.

Another reason why the invaders may target the Ukrainian energy system is to spare missiles, because sanctions destroy the supply chains of the Russian military industry. Ammunitions stockpiled by Russia for decades are being fired now. "That is why they want to use this resource to inflict the greatest damage," Melnyk suggests.


Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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