Russia starts supplying power to Crimea

From NHK World, Japan

Russia has started to supply electricity to Crimea as large-scale blackouts continue in the peninsula.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in March of last year.

It has been suffering blackouts since November 22nd. Ukrainian activists who oppose the annexation are suspected of blowing up electricity pylons in Ukraine.

The Russian government has declared a state of emergency and is working to repair the power lines.

Russia began supplying electricity on Wednesday after workers partially completed the construction of undersea cables connected to Crimea via the Black Sea, ending its reliance on Ukraine.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is visiting Crimea, said the start of power supplies is significant in securing electricity for the peninsula. He urged workers to speed up building other cables.

Russian media report that about 900,000 people in Crimea were without electricity as of Wednesday. Water supplies are also restricted.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak says power from Russia only covers 60 percent of that needed so far.

The Russian government plans to begin supplying power through another cable this month.

NOTE: “Activists” blow up electricity pylons? No, that’s terrorism. “Crimea annexed by Russia”, with no mention of the Crimean referendum to rejoin Russia overwhelmingly approved.

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