Just `17 People and a Dog’ Stand Between Ukraine’s Neighbor and Energy Meltdown
Moldova has not yet suffered sweeping blackouts of the kind seen in Ukraine. But President Maia Sandu said in early November that the price of gas to consumers had risen six-fold in a year, and families were now spending up to 70-75% of their incomes on utilities. Pro-Russia parties have organized protests to channel popular anger. The group at Moldova’s electricity utility tasked with keeping the country’s lights on were out of breath, literally running between meetings.
Backed by a staff of just 17, acting Energocom general director Victor Binzari and his two sidekicks have been scrambling to find new sources of power since mid-October, when Russian missile strikes in Ukraine took out the substations providing almost a third of Moldova’s electricity imports.
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