Crimea Still in the Dark

Even after being annexed by Russia in March of 2014, most of the electric power in Crimea is from Ukraine. Last Sunday the main power lines supplying Crimea were blown up. Investigators have yet to identify those responsible.

Crimea dark Ilya Varlamov
Photo: Ilya Varlamov

The loss of power has left close to 2 million residents without power, and gasoline generators are being used to power essential services at hospitals and other emergency services.

Crimean prime minister Sergei Aksyonov continues to tell citizens to conserve energy in all ways possible. Public works, such as the extensive transportation system powered by buses and electric trolleys, are on restricted schedules.

 

The government has declared a state of emergency and imposed at 10pm curfew. Meanwhile, Moscow is withholding coal shipments to Kyiv (Kiev). Much of the coal needed in central and western Ukraine is illegally stolen and shipped from rebel held mines in Eastern Ukraine to Southern Russia, and then sold back to the Ukrainian government.

Initial blasts damaged the main power lines feeding Crimea, taking two lines out of service. A later blast disabled the remaining lines. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry is using generators to provide limited power to apartment homes on a rotating basis.

To date, repair teams are blocked from fixing the lines as ethnic Crimean Tatar activists blocking repair teams and say they will not budge until Russia releases Tatar political prisoners.

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