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Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: “coldness”

On October 10, 2022, Russia began a massive shelling campaign against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. It lasted until March 9, 2023, and then individual cases of such attacks could be observed. As a result, Russian terrorist attacks caused serious damage to the Ukrainian energy system.

After the first large-scale attacks, Russian propagandists tried to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and promoted messages that the “obsolescence” of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure is one of the main reasons for power outages. Other factors behind the problematic power supply in Ukrainian homes were alleged government inaction and inadequate maintenance of power grid facilities. They say that the Ukrainian leadership, led by Volodymyr Zelenskyi, is deliberately tormenting the population of Ukraine with cold and darkness. Russians speculate on the famine (Holodomor), a tragic event in Ukrainian history, and describe this alleged infantilism and indifference of Kyiv as the “coldness” (Kholodomor) of ordinary citizens.

On March 16, 2022, Ukraine officially joined the common energy system of the European Union. This decision was intended to help our country maintain a stable electricity supply system. European electricity began to be supplied to Ukraine, and Ukrainian electricity to the EU. However, on October 11, 2022, the day after the first large-scale Russian missile attack on energy infrastructure, Ukraine suspended electricity exports. This was due to Russian shelling and, as a consequence, the need to cover Ukraine’s internal consumption needs throughout the day, as well as to provide reserves for the evening, when demand is maximum. Already on April 7, 2023, electricity exports were resumed.

If it weren’t for the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, there would not have been widespread power outages. This is confirmed by the fact that there were no problems with electricity generation and heating seasons in the country until the fall of 2022.

Russian plans to completely cut off power to Ukraine failed thanks to the titanic work of Ukrainian energy workers, the support of international partners and balanced decisions of the Ukrainian authorities in the context of the energy crisis. After each attack, power engineers went to facilities that were damaged and, risking their own lives, repaired the stations.

As of June 2023, the Kyiv School of Economics preliminary estimates the damage to Ukrainian energy infrastructure at $8.8 billion. It is Russia, by firing missiles at the Ukrainian energy system, that is responsible for putting it out of action. Already in August 2023, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported that five nuclear power units had been repaired in Ukraine, and four more were under repair at that time. Ukraine has been fruitfully preparing for this winter, also purchasing, for example, 100 spare high-voltage transformers, which will be stored abroad for safety purposes in case the need for them arises.

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