Energy Ministry disputes FT article on power grid destruction

The Ukrainian Energy Ministry has strongly refuted claims made in a Financial Times (FT) article, which was published on June 5, alleging extensive damage to Ukraine's energy system due to Russian attacks. The ministry described the article, titled "Russia has taken out over half of Ukraine power generation," as containing elements of disinformation and psychological operations benefiting Russia.

The FT article, citing anonymous Ukrainian officials, claimed the damage from Russian strikes is so severe that Ukrainians should prepare for "life in the cold and the dark" this winter. However, the Energy Ministry disputed these statements, arguing that they are intended to incite fear and panic among the population.

"The audience should understand that references to undisclosed sources without specific confirmation are not reliable, and conclusions can be manipulated," the ministry's statement emphasized. They accused the FT of mixing accurate information with false data to manipulate emotions and lend the article an unwarranted sense of credibility.

One of the disputed points was the article's assertion that Ukrainian authorities planned to double energy prices to fund reconstruction. The ministry clarified that while tariffs had increased by 63%, the claim of a 100% increase was a "lie and manipulation."

Despite these rebuttals, the context of the situation remains tense. Russia has intensified its attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure since the spring, coinciding with Ukraine's struggles to secure sufficient military aid from the West. This left some critical infrastructure vulnerable, as indicated by the recent attacks on June 1 that severely damaged two hydroelectric power stations and two thermal power plants.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarina Mathernova stated on June 2 that Russia has destroyed 9.2 gigawatts (GW) of Ukraine's energy generation. Before the invasion, Ukraine had a production capacity of around 55 GW, one of the largest in Europe. However, ongoing assaults and occupation have reduced this capacity significantly. In response, Ukraine initiated national blackouts in mid-May, having avoided such measures during the winter.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko has cautioned Ukrainians to brace for a challenging winter, acknowledging the severe impact of the energy infrastructure damage. However, the Energy Ministry's pushback against the FT article underscores the ongoing struggle over information and the psychological dimensions of the conflict.

Kakhovka dam destruction was one of Russia's most daring crimes against the environment and people- Zelensky

On June 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the one-year anniversary of the Kakhovka dam's destruction, condemning it as one of Russia's most egregious crimes against the environment and humanity in the region. "It was a deliberate and premeditated crime," Zelensky asserted in a Facebook post.

Exactly one year prior, Russian forces blew up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant and the adjacent dam in Kherson Oblast, causing a catastrophic humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine. The resulting floods claimed at least 32 lives in Ukrainian-held territories, according to Ukraine's Defense Ministry. Russia reported 59 deaths in the areas it controls, but an Associated Press investigation found that the death toll in the town of Oleshky alone was likely in the hundreds.

Zelensky highlighted the vast impact of the dam's destruction, noting that tens of thousands of people were directly affected, and hundreds of thousands lost access to clean drinking water. "Large areas of Ukraine were flooded, and the Kakhovka reservoir, which supported the stability of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, was destroyed. The direct consequences of this crime were felt in neighboring countries in the Black Sea region," he stated.

The president expressed gratitude to those who saved lives, provided housing, and restored the water supply in the affected regions. He also emphasized the need to hold Russia accountable for this and other war crimes, including deliberate attacks on civilians. "Justice must be served for the destruction of the power plant and the countless other atrocities committed during this conflict," Zelensky stressed.

Russians target Chasiv Yar with vacuum bombs that burn down everything

Дикий зазначив, що в росіян не має мети захопити Часів Яр під конкретну дату./ скріншот

Russian forces have launched an aggressive assault on the city of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast, utilizing multiple-launch rocket systems and thermobaric munitions. This information comes from Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson for the Khortytsia Operational Strategic Group of Forces, during a national 24/7 newscast.

Voloshyn explained that the enemy is deploying these devastating munitions to incinerate and obliterate everything in their path. "In the city of Chasiv Yar, the enemy has deployed multiple-launch rocket systems that fire thermobaric munitions. These are the kind of ammunition that burn and destroy everything in their path," he said.

He further detailed the strategy behind these attacks: "They want to ensure that our defenders have nowhere to defend from. That is, they destroy everything after enemy aircraft target it, of course. And they’re using these kinds of munitions, too."

This aggressive use of thermobaric weapons highlights the intense and destructive nature of the conflict on the Bakhmut front as Russian forces continue their relentless assault on Ukrainian positions.