Ukraine thanks electricity workers as drone attacks voltage grid

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has publicly thanked the country’s power workers for maintaining electricity supplies as Russia continues to target energy infrastructure ahead of winter.

“I thank all workers in the energy sector: our rescuers, repair crews, local government officials and private companies who are working diligently to maintain our energy system despite all threats,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech.

Authorities have ordered power cuts in many parts of the country and urged households to limit consumption as electricity infrastructure is targeted by Russian attack drones.

In a likely response to Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure on Thursday, the head of the port city of Sevastopol in Russia’s annexed Crimea region said a power station just outside the city suffered damage miners during a drone attack.

Mikhail Razvozhayev said a drone hit a transformer and caused a fire, but did not affect its general operation and did not interrupt the power supply.

Annexed by Russia in 2014, Crimea – a region slightly larger than Sicily – has faced drone attacks and explosions. In a major setback for Russia, on October 8, a powerful truck bomb blew up a section of a strategic bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland.

The war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis are likely to cause global demand for fossil fuels to spike or flatten, according to a report released Thursday by the Paris-based International Energy Agency, largely in due to the fall in Russian exports.

“Today’s energy crisis is causing a shock of unprecedented scale and complexity,” the IEA said in releasing its annual report, the World Energy Outlook.

The shock to governments, the report said, was forcing advanced economies to accelerate structural shifts towards renewable energy sources.

Also on Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said their forces were holding positions in the eastern Donetsk region against continued Russian heavy artillery attacks.

“This is where the madness of the Russian command is most visible: day after day for months they are leading people to their deaths there,” Zelenskyy said. “Our soldiers occupy positions in these areas of the Donetsk region. Quite simply, they are heroes.

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Christi C. Elwood