KIEV – As of Tuesday December 8, Crimean power has been fully restored after over two weeks without electricity.

The region had been partially without power following a Ukrainian activist attack on power lines and pylons which provided electricity to the peninsula. This occurred on November 22. Anti-Russian activists were blamed. The damage is thought to have been the result of shelling or explosive devices, and highlights the dependence of Crimea on Ukraine. Following the sabotage, nearly 1.9 million people were left partially or fully without electricity, resulting in a delectation of emergency across the state, and a power rationing schedule being implemented.

The ministry in Ukraine’s Kherson region said, “On December 8, a 220 KV line linking Kakhovsky-Titan-Krasnoperekopsk was switched on,” confirming that they were reconnecting the power supply. This occurred after an agreement with Ukrainian activists who had attempted to block energy and provisions to Crimea; they had earlier prevented repair crews from restoring the power. The other three downed pylons are still being guarded by activists.

Authorities in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region said that the power lines were reconnected “with agreement from activists involved in the energy and food blockage of Crimea.” Prior to the sabotage, Ukraine was providing Crimea with around 70 percent of its energy. Three lines connecting to Ukraine’s electricity grid are still down.

Following the attack, Crimea received substantial help from Russia, with the implementation of two power lines extending from the Russian mainline across the Kerch Strait. Each line provides 200 MW of electricity, covering 80-90 percent of Crimea’s needs. Crimea depends upon Ukraine for 85 percent of its water, and much of its trade too.

The activists are thought to belong to Crimean Tatars, a group of 260, 000, who have vocally opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea, calling for Russia to release political prisoners and stop curtailing democratic freedoms in Crimea.

 – Barry Quinn, Correspondent (Europe)

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