EU makes progress in shift away from Russian energy
The European Union is making significant progress in reducing its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2030, as highlighted in a European Commission report published on October 24.
Key achievements include a 90% reduction in coal imports from Russia and a substantial drop of almost 75% in Russian gas imports from 2021 to 2023. Following Russia's exploitation of Europe's energy dependency during the winter of 2022-2023, the EU has been diligently preparing for the upcoming winter. Nearly 99% of gas storage facilities are now fully stocked, offering a cushion against potential supply disruptions, price surges, or any attempts by Russia to weaponize energy supplies.
Furthermore, the EU is making headway in its transition to renewable energy sources by 2030, with 39% of its electricity generated from renewables in 2022.
The report suggests that the worst impacts of the energy crisis may be in the past, but caution is still warranted. Unexpectedly high price increases could occur, and the pace of the transition to renewable energy needs to accelerate for the EU to meet its 2030 goals.
In March 2022, the European Commission unveiled the 'REPowerEU' plan, aimed at achieving complete independence from Russian energy sources by 2030. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that relying on a supplier who poses explicit threats is no longer viable. Russia's invasion of Ukraine served as a catalyst for the EU to accelerate its shift toward renewable energy and to break free from Russia's manipulation of its energy supply to Europe.
Buildings near Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant damaged in overnight attack
On October 25, a Russian attack on Khmelnytskyi Oblast in western Ukraine caused damage to buildings near the region's nuclear power plant, as reported by the Energy Ministry.
Though incoming projectiles were successfully intercepted by air defense systems, the resulting explosions caused damage to the windows of an administrative building and a laboratory building in close proximity to the plant, according to the Energy Ministry. The attack also impacted a power line, resulting in a power outage for 1,860 households in Khmelnytskyi Oblast.
Local authorities had already reported earlier in the day that falling debris had damaged "critical infrastructure."
The ministry noted that restoration work would commence as soon as energy workers were permitted to access the damaged site.
This marked the fourth consecutive day that Khmelnytskyi Oblast had been targeted by Russian forces, resulting in injuries to 16 individuals.
Ukraine's Air Force later confirmed that 11 Shahed-type drones had been successfully shot down overnight, including over Khmelnytskyi Oblast. Despite being located approximately 450 kilometers west of Kyiv and around 950 kilometers from the front lines, Khmelnytskyi Oblast continues to be the subject of regular Russian attacks.
Russian strikes on Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk
On October 24, Russia carried out attacks on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast's Nikopol using "kamikaze" drones and artillery, resulting in injuries to a resident, as reported by Governor Serhii Lysak.
The victim, a 36-year-old man, was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds and is currently in moderate condition, according to the governor. The attacks caused damage to a hotel, a veterinarian clinic, a car, and a power line.
Situated near the mostly dried-up Kakhovka Reservoir, the city of Nikopol is located just across from the Russian-occupied Enerhodar and Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, making it a frequent target of Russian assaults.
Russian forces targeted Dnipropetrovsk Oblast during the night and morning, using artillery and missiles. In the attacks on the Synelnykove district, they damaged a cafe, a school, a bank, a pharmacy, and 10 houses, although there were no casualties, according to the governor.
EuroMaidan murders case: Why is the verdict criticized, and why is it about Russia?
Nearly a decade after the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution, a court ruling has been issued regarding individuals implicated in the killings of numerous protesters during the revolution's final days. However, prosecutors and lawyers who fought for justice over the years argue that true justice has not been served.
The verdict was issued by Kyiv's Svyatoshynsky District Court on October 18, providing a legal assessment of the most significant events of the pro-Western revolution, which led to the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. This ruling marks the conclusion of a protracted trial that commenced in 2016.
Among the five defendants, one was acquitted, while the others won't be serving jail time either. One of them has been released, and the remaining three are hiding in Russia. Critics assert that the verdict is the result of years of sabotage by Ukrainian authorities and law enforcement agencies in handling the EuroMaidan cases.
Sergii Gorbatuk, a former top investigator responsible for EuroMaidan cases, expressed his disappointment, stating, "The authorities have done their best to ensure there are no real results. The defendants who are in Ukraine were not held responsible, while those in Russia were. It's impossible to implement this verdict."
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have also probed the possibility of Russia's involvement in suppressing the EuroMaidan protests and instigating violence. Experts believe that Russia has made efforts to obstruct EuroMaidan cases and conceal its potential role in the events.
As of now, the Svyatoshynsky District Court has not responded to requests for comment.