Claims that electricity is redirected from schools and kindergartens to elite resorts is a manipulative distortion of reality. For two days in a row, several towns in the Khust district of the Transcarpathian region allegedly were not affected by the regional power outage schedules. According to the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration chairman, there are indeed recreation centers in these towns. However, it is extremely difficult to establish a causal relationship between these events, since recreation centers are located throughout all of Transcarpathia, and not only in the Khust region. It is impossible to selectively reroute electricity from schools and kindergartens to recreation centers.
Russian sites are spreading disinformation claiming that in Ukraine electricity for schools and kindergartens was allegedly siphoned off to elite resorts. “Electricity allocated for schools and other educational institutions in the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine was redirected to support the operation of ski resorts. (…) Ukrainian army servicemen are turning to the regional authorities en masse, reporting that their relatives are sitting without light and heat, while stabilization and emergency power outages do not apply to the ski resorts of Transcarpathia, ”the Ukraina.ru website writes, citing a Ukrainian publication, called Zakarpattya.Post.
These claims are a manipulation and distortion of the real situation concerning the power outages in Ukraine caused by Russia’s persistent bombing of Ukraine’s infrastructure.
The article in the Zakarpattya.Post refers to individual towns in the Khust area and states that resorts have continuous power while elsewhere in the area, people sit in darkness without any electricity. However, a connection between the availability of electricity in these towns and “taking electricity from schools and kindergartens and giving it to elite resorts” has not been established. There are resorts and recreation centers throughout Transcarpathia, and not only in the Khust region. Furthermore, the towns in question also have schools and kindergartens. Moreover, the situation with electricity in the Transcarpathian region is more difficult than in neighboring regions, because Transcarpathia has not increased its electricity production capacities since independence.
On January 29, a short article appeared on the Ukrainian website Zakarpattya.Post stating that “yesterday and today there was uninterrupted electricity in some Khust district towns where resorts are located, at a time when other cities and villages were supplied with limited electricity according to the outage schedule.” The Zakarpattya.Post quotes a Facebook post by the chairman of the Transcarpathian regional administration Viktor Mykyta, who confirms that while most of the region had limited electricity in accordance with the rolling blackout schedule, some towns in the Khust area had uninterrupted electricity for two days.
“This information has been confirmed. We are taking urgent measures to restore the power supply in accordance with the current schedule. Tomorrow representatives of the Zakarpattyaenergo (local utility) will report on the situation, after which, appropriate measures will be taken” Mykyta wrote. He did not mention anything about electricity being rerouted from schools and kindergartens to elite resorts, as Russian media claim.
Some of the comments to Mykyta’s Facebook post point out that in Khust, a city of some 30,000 residents in western Ukraine “there are streets where they have never lost electricity, while other streets have electricity on average 2-4 hours a day”. Such a situation happens frequently as electricity depends on passage through existing power line networks, and not on any specific location or direction.
It is also important to note that the situation with electricity supply in the Transcarpathian region is somewhat complicated. Victor Mykyta points this out in his Facebook post: “Electricity limits are apportioned for all regions in accordance with various factors. At the same time, almost every region has large production capacities, as a result of optimizing electricity consumption, more light can be given to people. Unfortunately, Transcarpathia has not been able to create such production facilities for the last 30 years, so we must consider optimizing electricity consumption, particularly in large supermarkets and other facilities that according to Zakarpattyaoblenero are connected to several networks, which give them uninterrupted power.”
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