Ukraine’s Coal Miners Dig Deep to Power a Nation at War (Voice of America/Associated Press – April 8, 2023)

DNIPROPETROVSK OBLAST, UKRAINE — Deep underground in southeastern Ukraine, miners work around the clock extracting coal to power the country’s war effort and to provide civilians with light and heat.

Coal is central to meeting Ukraine’s energy needs following the Russian military’s 6-month campaign to destroy power stations and other infrastructure, the chief engineer of a mining company in Dnipropetrovsk province said.

Elevators carry the company’s workers underground to the depths of the mine. From there, they operate heavy machinery that digs out the coal and moves the precious resource above ground. It is hard work, the miners said, but essential to keep the country going.

“Today, the country’s energy independence is more than a priority,” said Oleksandr, the chief engineer, who, like all the coal miners interviewed, spoke on the condition of giving only his first name for security reasons.

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