Espreso. Global

ISW names reason for Russia's large-scale attack on Ukraine's energy system

23 March, 2024 Saturday
11:25

Russia is attacking Ukraine's energy facilities to undermine its defense and industrial potential. Russian troops are trying to exploit the shortage of air defense systems in the Ukrainian Armed Forces

This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The report recalled that intensified Russian strikes in winter 2023-2024 reportedly heavily targeted Ukrainian defense industrial base (DIB) enterprises. Instead, Russian strikes on energy infrastructure in early Spring 2024 likely aim to collapse the energy grid in part to stall Ukrainian efforts to rapidly expand its DIB.

"Russian forces failed to collapse the Ukrainian energy grid on March 22 but may aim to continue intensified strikes on energy infrastructure in subsequent strike series, especially to capitalize on continued delays in Western security assistance that are reportedly expected to significantly constrain Ukraine‘s air defense umbrella," the report says.

The Institute for the Study of War reminded that during the full-scale invasion, Russian troops have steadily shelled Ukraine's power system and reduced its electricity generation. First, this happened after the seizure of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in March 2022, then the occupation of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant in February 2022 and the subsequent blowing up of its dam in June 2023, and now the damage to the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant (DHPP) in Zaporizhzhia during a strike on March 22, 2024. The attacks put the plant out of commission and will likely take some time to repair.

In addition, the ISW report says, the missile strikes could support Russia's efforts to destabilize the country as the Kremlin seeks to undermine domestic and international confidence in the Ukrainian government.

"Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command warned on March 22 that Russia is preparing information operations aiming to falsely portray Ukraine as without power," the ISW report said.

  • On the evening of March 21, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine with attack drones. Russian drones entered the territory of Ukraine from the south.
  • On the night of March 22, the Russian terrorist army attacked Ukraine with 151 air strikes. Ukrainian air defense destroyed 92 Russian targets.
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