The battle for light: how Odessa electricians at the front and in the Odessa region restore networks damaged by Russian missiles  

Last Monday, December 5, Russian terrorists for the eighth time dealt a massive blow to the energy system of Ukraine. Of the 70 cruise missiles fired by the enemy, Ukrainian air defense shot down more than 60, but it was not possible to completely avoid hits. As a result, several cities again plunged into darkness.

In particular, Odessa is coming out of the blackout for the third day. Power engineers are doing the impossible, trying to eliminate the consequences of terrorist attacks.

Dumskaya correspondent Oleksandr Gimanov visited one of the locations and talked with a team of electricians from DTEK Odeski Elektromerezhi, who returned from a business trip to liberated Kherson to bring back the light to Odessa.

It is good to watch chilly wind and unpleasant light rain from the window of your apartment, albeit without electricity. However, restoring this very electricity in such weather is a dubious pleasure.

We are located in the Odessa region, not far from the place of arrival of the Russian missile. Its fragments are still scattered across the field, the blast wave damaged the power lines that feed the regional center.

A team of electricians has been working here for several hours – after they eliminated the cliff in another area. Men pull a stranded steel wire across a plowed field, then to lift it with aerial platform and fix it on a support twenty meters above the ground. Another group is scalding parts of metal supports damaged by shrapnel.

“The metal structures were damaged here, the wires were torn off,” says Stanislav Bogunov, foreman of the center for the repair of power transmission lines, as we move on to the next support. “For this work, additional materials are not needed, here is work for one day.”

The main difficulty, according to the power engineer, is the weather and the swamp. The plowed soil, like a swamp, grabs workers by their rubber boots, the wheels of vehicles are additionally wrapped in chains. Nine electricians, two aerial platforms and two auxiliary vehicles were thrown onto the site. Two days ago they restored light in the liberated Kherson.

“As soon as the war began, we went to the de-occupied Borodianka, Gostomel, Bucha, Irpin,” says Stanislav. – Then they were in Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Liman, and then in Kherson. They powered the line from Nikolaev at 154 kV there. In three weeks, we made more than nine kilometers in the Posad-Pokrovsky area.

According to Yuriy Deordienko, the aerial platform driver, the difference between work in the Odessa region and in the liberated territories is in the number of mines left by the enemy and in shelling.

“Here we can safely drive by car, and there they have mined everything: roads, roadsides, entrances to the supports and the supports themselves,” says Yuri. – First, the sappers work, then we. Everyone walked along the same path, fenced with ribbons. Sappers can’t do everything either, after us the tower exploded. The lads are fine, but the car was damaged.”

In addition to the usual equipment, Odessa electricians had to wear bulletproof vests, and change their usual orange plastic helmets for Kevlar helmets.

“In Liman, the Russians stood seven kilometers away, but in Kherson it was more difficult: they bombed harder,” recalls an Odessa resident. – It used to be that today they raised the line, and two hours later the Russians laid it down again with their rockets. I had to go back and raise the wires. Once I spoke with a military man, so he says – your robot will be more dangerous than ours, I’m even under a tree, in a trench, and you climb poles, you can be seen from afar.

Each time, Yuri and his colleagues could refuse a business trip, but they never did it.

“I consider it my duty,” the man admits. “Someone has to do it. In Kherson, they thanked us very much. We drive down the street, and they come out, waving their hands, rejoice when we go out – they hug, they say thank you. It’s very inspiring.”

According to the power engineers, after the site where we were today is repaired, the light will return to the apartments of several dozen city blocks. This means that the whole of Odessa will become brighter.



One comment

  1. The other, unsung heroes of Ukraine!

    Слава Україні!
    Слава його героям!

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