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First planned power restriction in effect in Ukraine

Ukraine restricts electricity supplies across the country on Thursday after Russia knocked out more power generating plants.

Zelenskiyy, who said this week that 30 percent of Ukrainian power stations had been hit by Russian air strikes, met senior officials to discuss security at plants and the possibility of a breakdown in the energy system.

“Tomorrow, October 20, electricity supply restrictions will be introduced throughout all of Ukraine. Today the enemy has destroyed power generating facilities again,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelenskiyy’s office, said on Wednesday.

“Starting from 7 am to 11 pm, it is necessary to minimize the use of electricity … if this is not done, you should prepare for temporary blackouts,” he wrote, adding that street lighting in cities would be limited. “These are forced measures.”

Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo later said that the planned power cut would be limited to Thursday and cited a lack of capacity in the system.

“We do not exclude that with the onset of a cold weather we will be asking for your help even more frequently,” Ukrenergo said in a post on Telegram.

Earlier in the day, a Russian missile strike hit another major thermal power station in the city of Burshtyn in western Ukraine, adding to the latest in a wave of attacks on critical infrastructure ahead of winter.

The latest salvo hit the coal-fired Burshtyn plant in the region of Ivano-Frankivsk that supplies electricity to three western regions and to five million consumers , more than 10 percent of Ukraine’s pre-war population of about 41 million.

The Vinnytsia region in western Ukraine, said Russia had also carried out energy-related attacks there on Wednesday.

The mayor of the western city of Lviv said on television that it would take months to repair power substations that have been damaged in recent days.

The city announced possible disruptions to electricity supply while repairs were made, and measures like the one taken on Thursday might need to be repeated to economise the power usage.

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