Faced with the risk of power cuts this winter, some residents of the Zaporijjia power plant in Ukraine are turning to wood. The vehicles pass by and load the last cubic meters of Sergei’s sawmill. Ukrainians who can afford it are already flocking to firewood. “Those who bought ten cubic meters a week last winter are now buying eight times as muchexplains Sergei. It is not a movement of panic, the risk of ending up without heating is very real.
>> War in Ukraine: major power cuts in the East, Zelensky accuses Russia of wanting to “deprive people of light and heating”
The incessant bombardments have got the better of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The last of its six reactors has been shut down, Monday, September 11. If gas were to run out, the Zaporijjia region would not be able to rely on electricity from its power station for heating.
Even for Ukrainians who turn to wood, there is a risk of ending up without heating this yesterday. At the question “can you accommodate the request”Sergei, his face sunken with worry, replies without the slightest hesitation: “No, no, impossible.” He buys his wood from suppliers in western Ukraine, where the forests are. “The demand is so high that all our orders are put on the waiting list”laments Sergei.
“We have to survive this winter”recently claimed the Ukrainian president who warns that Russia is aiming with its strikes “infrastructures and companies that provide heating”. In Zaporijjia, for lack of a power plant, the inhabitants will not be able to fall back on electricity for heating. Remains the wood, but its price has exploded and it is already missing. Sergei will not do business this year. He expects the worst for his business.
We’re going to lose our jobs and the people won’t have wood for heating…Sergei, owner of a sawmill in Zaporijjia
Since the Russian invasion in February, the electricity network of Ukraine, which was connected to the Russian network, has been switched to the European network. Objective: to export Ukrainian electricity to the European Union. In Ukraine, winter is freezing.
“How can we deliver to Europeans if we cannot heat ourselves?asks Sergei. I have a family to feed. I am very worried.”
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