Elevators transport miners deep into mine shafts and operate heavy machinery to excavate coal.

(Associated Press)

[Instant News/Comprehensive Report] When the Russian military launched an operation to destroy Ukraine’s power stations and infrastructure within 6 months, causing the largest nuclear power station in Europe to shut down, coal mines suddenly became the core of Ukraine’s energy needs. Deep underground in southeastern Ukraine, miners work day and night to mine coal to power the fight against Russian aggression and to provide light and heat to civilians.

As the Ukrainian-Russian war entered its second year, Russia continued to disrupt Ukraine's electricity operations with its ongoing attacks on nuclear, thermal and other power plants in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has opposed any proposal to legalize Russia's control over the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Europe's largest nuclear energy facility, amid stalled talks on a regional ceasefire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

At full capacity, the plant produces 6,000 megawatts of electricity, and Zaporozhye's Ukrainian operator shut down its last nuclear reactor last September, arguing that it would be too risky to operate the plant while Russia was bombing nearby areas.

According to reports, Oleksandr, chief engineer of a mining company in Ukraine's Dnepropetrovsk region, said that coal mines have become an important source of power generation for Ukraine after the Russian military carried out a six-month operation to destroy power stations and other infrastructure .

Elevators transport miners underground into the depths of the mine.

They operate heavy machinery to dig coal and move resources to the surface.

Miners say digging coal is hard work but vital to keeping the country functioning.

Oleksandr also said that when Russia sabotaged the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in winter, it was the coal mines that kept Ukrainian families warm.

While the work of miners cannot fully compensate for the loss of energy provided by nuclear power plants, they do help fill the gap.

"We come to work with optimism and try not to think about what is happening outside the mine," said a miner named Serhii.

After the Russian military shut down nuclear power plants and thermal power plants, coal mines have become an important power source for Ukraine.