Bad weather in Ukraine leads to floods, power outages, traffic issues

Emergency services preparing to tow a vehicle stranded due to bad weather conditions on Nov. 26, 2023. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Telegram)

Storms, strong wind, and heavy rain and snowfall in much of Ukraine on Nov. 26-27 led to floods, power outages, and traffic problems.

Over 2,000 settlements in 15 oblasts have been left without power supply as of the morning of Nov. 27, the state grid operator Ukrenergo said on Telegram.

Heavy winds at a speed of 144 km/h were recorded in Crimea overnight, leaving four people injured and one missing, Krym.Realii reported.

Dozens of settlements on the occupied peninsula were reportedly left without electricity. Several rivers have flooded, leading to evacuations of residents, the Crimean Wind Telegram channel wrote.

Storms and floods have reportedly also reached the Sea of Azov and the occupied city of Berdiansk, according to local Telegram channels.

Several roads in Odesa and Mykolaiv oblasts were closed due to heavy snow and low visibility, and trucks were prohibited from entering Kyiv.

Emergency services provided assistance to drivers dealing with bad weather conditions 62 times in Odesa Oblast, 19 times in Kirovohrad Oblast, and 14 times in Mykolaiv Oblast.

Russian attack on power plant in front-line Ukrainian region causes blackout

Russia’s overnight attack on a front-line Ukrainian region damaged a thermal power plant operated by the country’s energy giant DTEK, the company reported on Nov. 27.

For security reasons, DTEK does not specify where plants that are hit by strikes are located, presumably to avoid giving up sensitive information about the location of Ukraine's critical infrastructure.

Residents of a nearby settlement were left without power following the overnight attack, according to the DTEK.

This was Russia’s fifth strike on front-line DTEK facilities over the last month, the company added.

DTEK’s head Maksym Timchenko said on Nov. 17 that Ukraine needed more Western air defense systems, such as Patriot and IRIS-T, to better protect its critical infrastructure from Russian attacks.

From fall 2022 to winter 2023, Russia launched a series of mass strikes across the country, targeting critical infrastructure sites and causing widespread power outages. Local authorities were forced to install power cut schedules to preserve electricity.

All 13 of DTEK's power stations, which supply power to more than seven million Ukrainian families, have been reportedly hit by Russian attacks. Since April, eight of the 13 have been repaired and are operational, while another two are still being repaired.

So far, the power situation across the country has been rather stable, even as Russia continues to target critical infrastructure.

US official says Ukraine aid bill unlikely to be passed before 2024

"Mike Turner, the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, remarked on November 26 that the approval of new aid packages for Ukraine and Israel would face significant challenges before the end of the year, as reported by Bloomberg.

Turner expressed skepticism, stating, "I think it would be very difficult to get it done by the end of the year, and the impediment, currently, is the White House policy on the southern border," as quoted by Bloomberg.

This statement comes amid prolonged disagreements within the U.S. Congress over government spending, particularly concerning military aid allocated for Ukraine. In early November, Senate Republicans threatened to block such aid unless resolutions addressing security concerns on the southern U.S. border were addressed, leading to a deadlock with Democrats.

Bloomberg's report highlights that "Congressional Republicans are seeking to link their approval for the foreign military assistance to stricter border policies." This move followed President Joe Biden's signing of a bill extending U.S. government funding into early next year, leaving the issue of continued aid for Ukraine unaddressed.

Nevertheless, on November 20, Biden approved a new military aid package for Ukraine valued at up to $100 million. The comprehensive package includes advanced weaponry such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), 155-mm and 105-mm artillery shells, Javelin and AT-4 anti-tank systems, along with over 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition."