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Ukrainian drones knock out two substations, Russia-installed officials say

By Thomson Reuters Jun 21, 2024 | 6:35 PM

(Reuters) – Russian-installed officials said on Friday that Ukrainian drone attacks had put out of action two electricity substations in Enerhodar, the town serving the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and cut power to most of its residents.

But an official at the occupied Zaporizhzhia station, Europe’s largest nuclear plant with six reactors, said it was unaffected by the military action.

Russian troops seized the plant in the early days of the February 2022 invasion and Moscow and Kyiv have since routinely accused each other of endangering safety around it. It produces no electricity at the moment.

Eduard Senovoz, the top official in Enerhodar, wrote on Telegram that the latest attack had damaged the second of two substations supplying the town. The other substation was destroyed on Wednesday, he wrote.

Ukrainian officials have made no comment on the incidents and Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.

Russian news agencies quoted Yevgeny Yashin, director of communications at the Zaporizhzhia station, as saying the latest attack had no effect on the nuclear plant. And he said the substation could be repaired.

“Specialists have gone out to the site to assess the damage,” Yashin told RIA news agency. “There is a chance to restore the damaged transformer but it will take time.”

Russia launched mass attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the first winter of the conflict and resumed a long series of attacks in March.

Kyiv says the renewed attacks have knocked out half of Ukraine’s energy generating capacity and forced blackouts.

Ukraine has stepped up its use of drones this year to attack Russian oil facilities. Ukrainian drones struck four Russian oil refineries as well as radar stations and other military targets in Russia in the early hours of Friday, Kyiv’s military said.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; editing by Diane Craft)