Ukraine plans to import record amounts of electricity from its neighbouring countries after sustaining critical energy infrastructure damage from targeted Russian attacks, the country’s energy minister said on Monday. 

The Ukrainian Ministry of Energy disclosed plans to procure a staggering 19,484 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, surpassing the previous record of 18,649MWh in March, Reuters reported.  

The country will source power from five of its neighboring European nations: Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Moldova.  

National power grid operator Ukrenergo said on Telegram: “The power system has been experiencing a significant electricity shortage for most of the day.” 

Urkenergo noted that the urgency of the situation necessitated swift action, with emergency assistance already provided by the EU in the early hours of Monday morning. 

The grid operator added that power curbs for industrial consumers are expected in the evening as “restricting consumption is a necessary measure to maintain the stability of the power system after the fifth targeted missile attack on power plants this year”. 

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“The reason for this is large-scale damage to Ukrainian power plants, which means they cannot produce as much electricity as before the attack,” the operator said. 

Russian strikes on energy infrastructure, which have ramped up since March, have resulted in widespread blackouts and wreaked havoc on critical power facilities. Just last week, Russian forces attacked multiple power plants across Ukraine, leaving at least two hydroelectric plants decommissioned and others, including the 850MW Sloviansk Thermal Power Plant, severely damaged.  

Ukraine’s Energy Minister, German Galushchenko, estimated the power sector’s loss to be in excess of $1bn (Hrv39.67bn). According to Reuters, thermal and hydropower installations, along with power transmission systems, suffered the most damage, losing approximately 80% of their thermal power generation capacity. The country has been forced to increase its reliance on its three nuclear power plants, which produce around 50% of the country’s electricity. 

Earlier this year, Ukraine’s largest energy provider, DTEK, said that electricity supply from the EU may increase to one billion kilowatt-hours per month, equivalent to the consumption of around four million households.