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Russian missiles landed in Ukraine on Wednesday, triggering a wave of electricity outages that cascaded into multiple nuclear power plant shutdowns.
The missiles also triggered massive electricity outages in neighboring Moldova—with the country reporting that half of the country was now in darkness, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spuni said today on Twitter. Efforts are now underway to restore power to 50% of the country.
In Ukraine, nuclear reactors Pivdennoukrainsk, Khmelnitskyi, and Rivne have been shut down, the state-run nuclear energy firm Energoatom told Reuters, adding that the reactors were now in project mode, and no longer generating electricity into the domestic energy system.
Ukraine has set up “invincibility centres” throughout the country to provide electricity and heat to its citizens who are without.
Russia’s Gazprom this week accused Ukraine of withholding gas deliveries that were originally intended for Moldova. Gazprom has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Moldova unless Ukraine releases the gas to its rightful recipient.
Moldova has denied Gazprom’s allegation. Spinu said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that more than 200 million cubic meters of gas from Russia is currently in storage in Ukraine for Moldova’s future use.
“To be clear, all the gas delivered to Moldova ends up in our country. The volumes of gas that Gazprom refers to as remaining in Ukraine are our savings and reserves stored in warehouses in Ukraine…. Let it also be clear that these volumes were and will be fully paid for by our country.”
Moldova has already suffered reduced gas deliveries from Russia, along with its electricity imports. Moldova has accused Russia of energy blackmail.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.