There will be no total blackout: former Naftogaz manager speaks about the worst-case scenario

October 18, 2022

Maksym Bielawski assessed the threat of Russian attacks on power plants for the "Telegraf" and gave advice to Ukrainians

Within a few days, Russia carried out some of the most massive attacks on Ukraine, aimed to destroy the energy sector and critical infrastructure of peaceful cities. Since October 10, 30% of Ukrainian power plants has been destroyed. Many regions experience electricity and water supply cuts.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made this information public, noting that these crimes against the civilian population ruled out any possibilities of resuming negotiations with Putin’s regime.

"Telegraf" asked Maksym Bielawski, former PR director of Naftogaz of Ukraine and current Razumkov Centre energy expert, how dangerous these losses are for the Ukrainian energy system, whether the country faces the risk of a total (large-scale) blackout, and what ordinary people should do.

— The loss of how many more power plants can Ukraine withstand?

— I will not give any estimates regarding the generation capacities that we have at our disposal after another massive bombardment, unprovoked by anyone or anything. I wish to avoid such evaluative judgments, because there is a fairly high probability that the aggressor, monitoring the media and evaluating certain news outlets, can adjust his strikes. Therefore, I would rather say how the population can help Ukraine’s energy industry. Using this opportunity, I would like to say that Ukrainian citizens should realise: today, payment for gas, electricity, and heating is kind of a donation to the energy front.

Now it is very important to save electricity and maintain the financial liquidity of the energy markets. This is something that needs to be talked about. These are the two topics that need to be promoted, communicated to the general public. That is, the first topic is clear: save electricity during the hours of maximum load on the power system, in the morning and in the evening. And of course, don’t forget to pay for the consumed energy. This is what citizens can do, and what, in my opinion, should be emphasised by the media.


Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"