State of Emergency in Crimea

State of Emergency in Crimea State of Emergency in Crimea

Authorities in Crimea have said pylons carrying electricity from Ukraine to the Russian-annexed peninsula have been blown up. The destruction has left almost 2 million people without power.

Electricity coming to Crimea from Ukraine was cut shortly after midnight local time, the Crimean branch of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported.

“On November 22, at 00:25 a.m., there was a switch-off of electricity coming into Crimea from Ukraine,” the statement said, adding that “a state of emergency has been introduced on the peninsula.”

The Russian Energy Ministry said some 1,896,000 people had been left without power and that emergency supplies had been turned on for hospitals and other important facilities.

Russian media reported that the power cut came after two pylons in the Kherson region of Ukraine, north of Crimea, were blown up by Ukrainian nationalists, though this was not confirmed by the Energy Ministry.

Violent clashes between activists from a Ukrainian nationalist movement and paramilitary police on Saturday took place near the pylons, Ukrainian media reported, saying that they had already been damaged by the activists on Friday.

If the attack is confirmed to be by Ukrainian nationalists opposed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year, the incident could further fuel tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

Crimea is dependent on Ukraine for electricity. Mikhail Sheremet, the first deputy of Crimea, was quoted by TASS state news agency as saying the peninsula could at most supply half of its power needs using diesel generators and renewable energy sources.