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Crimea Suffers From Blackouts, as Russian Authorities Cut Supplies

Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

Russia’s Energy Ministry has begun enforcing temporary blackouts in Crimea to prevent overloading the region’s energy supply system, the Interfax news agency reports.

Over 100,000 Crimean residents suffered a two-hour power outage on Monday, which authorities attributed to the heavy use of air conditioners on the peninsula, where temperatures are nearing 40 degrees Celsius.

The blackouts have particularly hit Crimea’s southern coast.

Since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014, Crimeans have suffered repeated power shortages. In November 2015, electricity pylons supplying Crimea with energy were blown up in Ukraine, plunging the peninsula into weeks of darkness.

Russia is fervently building two new power plants in Crimea to make it less dependent on Ukraine, but it is limited by EU sanctions barring firms from supplying the region with energy technology. 

A recent Reuters report claimed that Russian authorities had secretly transported German-manufactured energy turbines to the project in Crimea, in violation of the EU restrictions.

Siemens, the manufacturer of the turbines, has condemned the move and limited its business dealings with Russia in response. The EU has also imposed additional sanctions.

Crimea Through the Blackout

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