Ukrainians should cut electricity consumption by 25% during peak hours, says PM Shmyhal

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By Euronews
Russia's Defence Ministry confirms it is targeting energy infrastructure says Euronews Correspondent Sasha Vakulina
Russia's Defence Ministry confirms it is targeting energy infrastructure says Euronews Correspondent Sasha Vakulina   -   Copyright  Euronews

Following the recent Russian strikes across the country, millions of Ukrainians are facing blackouts.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has called on the population to reduce its energy consumption to prevent power outages.

"Please don't turn on energy-intensive appliances: electric stoves, electric kettles, power tools, heaters and air conditioners, ovens and irons, microwave ovens, coffee makers, washing machines and dishwashers", he said.

Missile attacks by Moscow forces have caused the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine to lose all external power for the second time in five days. 

This also increased the risk of a radiation disaster because critical safety systems need electricity to operate, Ukraine’s state nuclear operator said Wednesday.

The country's nuclear power operator Energoatom said the Zaporizhzhia plant suffered a “blackout” Wednesday morning when a missile damaged an electrical substation, leading to the emergency shutdown of the plant’s last external power source.

Ukraine's Military Intelligence says that the main goal of the attack was to create panic among Ukrainians and to intimidate the European public.

It comes as the government warned that 600 settlements in and around the capital, Lviv, Sumy and Ternopil were without electricity on Tuesday morning.

"Primary targets of Russian strikes are energy facilities. They’ve hit many yesterdays and they hit the same and new ones today," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, suggesting the aim was to create "unbearable conditions for civilians".

"Russia fired at least 84 missiles on Monday and at least 30 missiles on Tuesday, and even though many of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defence, the attack knocked out electricity in hundreds of towns and villages across Ukraine," says Euronews correspondent Sasha Vakulina.

About 30% of the energy infrastructure in Ukraine has been hit.

The nuclear scare came amid a flurry of developments following over seven months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while Moscow's main domestic security agency said eight people were arrested over an explosion on the Kerch bridge that links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

The Institute for the Study of War said Russia's military officials may have coordinated missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure to rehabilitate the perception of the Russian Defence Ministry and cater to the most vocal voices following Russian failures around Lyman.

For Euronews' Sasha Vakulina's full update, click on the video above.