Energy Crisis in Ukraine
Up until recently, Ukrainian citizens have had an unseasonably mild start to the winter, meaning energy and electricity usage has been at a minimum in comparison to previous winters. However, in mid-January, meteorologists predicted a sudden drop in temperatures to -11 C in Kyiv and even colder in Eastern Ukraine at -18 C. The lowest temperatures Kyiv experienced since those predictions were around -5 C, a sharp decrease from previous highs of 10 C. With this sudden cold, which many expect will only worsen over the next few weeks, it is only normal that energy and electricity use will increase as citizens try to keep warm, which could lead to an energy crisis in Ukraine.

Energy as a Russian Target

The Russo-Ukrainian War, which began with the Russian invasion roughly a year ago, has seen Russian forces targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Since October 2022, Russian air forces have been consistently attacking key Ukrainian energy infrastructure such as hydro plants, dams and nuclear power plants, causing the energy crisis in Ukraine. These strikes along with general shell and grenade damage to cities have caused massive damage to electricity and energy infrastructure, particularly in Kyiv. While Moscow has defended its actions by stating the targets are military-linked facilities, countries and international watchdogs are claiming Russia is committing war crimes by targeting civilian infrastructure. Amnesty International, for example, claimed that “carrying out these attacks with the sole purpose of terrorizing civilians is a war crime.”


Ukraine’s energy grids are having to conduct emergency outages to conserve energy and electricity. Moreover, officials are urging civilians to conserve electricity as temperatures plummet. Kyiv’s mayor claimed this was necessary as the “deficit of electricity is significant.” There is no saying how much energy each individual would need to survive if blackouts become the norm.

Communication With Family

The war has been ripping many Ukrainian families apart, with some members staying in Ukraine and others seeking refuge elsewhere. This forced families to rely on the internet and electricity to maintain contact with their loved ones via platforms such as FaceTime and Zoom. Electricity is a precious resource in more ways than one, and without it, Ukrainian citizens will not have any way to stay in touch with their families.

NGO Working to Solve Ukraine’s Energy Crisis

Ecoclub, a Ukrainian NGO focusing on sustainable energy production, recently installed solar panels for a hospital in the Ukrainian city of Zviahel. The new solar panels provide enough energy to maintain the functioning of 11 ventilators that support patients in intensive care. Ecoclub plans to install solar power plants for six hospitals to alleviate the stress of the energy crisis in Ukraine. The initiative will allow patients to continue to receive the care they need, regardless of energy grid blackouts or Russian attacks.

– Genevieve Lewis
Photo: Flickr