Ruslan Vanyarh: “To restore the TPP’s operation, we worked overtime and without weekends”

June 17, 2024

Ruslan Vanyarh, turbine equipment operator at one of Kyiv’s TPPs

Ruslan Vanyarh has been working at the Vuhlehirsk Thermal Power Plant (TPP) in the Donetsk region since 2014. Back then, the Russian army repeatedly shelled the station, damaging the equipment. The energy workers did everything possible and impossible to supply electricity to eastern Ukraine. In the summer of 2022, fierce battles took place over the station, and in August 2022, the city of Svitlodarsk fell under occupation, while the Vuhlehirsk TPP burned down as a result of missile strikes. 

“After heavy shelling, my wife and I decided to take the children away from the danger. We first went to Cherkasy, then to Bila Tserkva. In August, we found work in Kyiv, at a TPP. We moved from one war to another,” Ruslan Vanyarh recounts. 

Now, Ruslan Vanyarh works as a turbine equipment operator at one of Kyiv’s TPPs. His duties include understanding various equipment operation modes, ensuring its functionality, and quickly addressing malfunctions and damages. Ruslan has excellent skills to handle all these tasks. 

During another attack on one of Kyiv’s TPPs in the fall of 2022, a major fire broke out at the station. The State Emergency Service extinguished the fire on the transformer from the outside, while the operational staff manually extinguished the blaze inside the workshop. Ruslan Vanyarh was on duty. Despite the shock and chaos of the first moments after the explosions, the operational staff managed to shut down the equipment, execute all necessary actions smoothly, and prevent casualties and further equipment damage. 

“We had to act urgently. If the roof had caught fire, we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. No fire extinguisher can help in such a situation. It was frightening that the station might burn down. So, everyone rushed to extinguish the fire. To restore the TPP’s operation, we worked overtime and without weekends,” Ruslan recalls. 

Despite risking their lives, Ukrainian energy workers work around the clock in extremely difficult conditions, daily restoring access to heat and light for millions of people, businesses, and institutions.