Crimea left in dark after Russian power shutdown
The annexed Crimea peninsula was plunged into darkness Friday after a shutdown in Russia caused a massive power cut, officials said.
The latest major outage to hit Crimea highlights how vulnerable supplies to the Black Sea peninsula remain more than three years after it was seized from Ukraine by the Kremlin.
“Electricity has been totally turned off in Crimea,” regional energy minister Vadim Belik told Russian news agencies.
Belik said a shutdown in Russia’s nearby Krasnodar region caused the outage and that the authorities were scrambling to fix four power lines and get electricity flowing.
Russia’s energy ministry said that emergency systems in Krasnodar shut down supplies due to overheating.
Russian state television reported that the outage caused havoc around the region as traffic lights cut out and electric trolley buses came to a halt.
Ukraine stopped supplying energy to Crimea in late 2015, leaving the region reliant on an underwater cable running from Russia and inhabitants facing frequent problems.
Moscow has been struggling to bolster Crimea’s own power generation capacity, but that task has been seriously hampered by tight Western sanctions on the peninsula.
Earlier this month German conglomerate Siemens announced it was cutting back operations in Russia after confirming four gas turbines it sold to the country were diverted illegally to Crimea.
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