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Russia Seals Crimean Border Crossings With Ukraine

Alexey Pavlishak / TASS

Russia temporarily shut three checkpoints on Crimea's border with Ukraine on Tuesday following reports that an act of sabotage could have left part of the peninsula without power and gas.

Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 after a referendum criticized by the international community. Ukraine considers Russia’s presence in Crimea an illegal occupation.

An unnamed Federal Security Service (FSB) border official in Crimea told the news agency Interfax on Wednesday morning that three border checkpoints — Armyansk, Dzhankoi and Perekop — had suspended their work “for technical reasons.”

Later, Interfax cited an FSB spokesperson as saying work had been resumed.

In a separate report, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the local government, wrote on Facebook that an electricity pole had been brought down and several settlements along the southern Crimean shore were left without gas supplies overnight.

“Every theory is under consideration, including diversion,” Aksyonov wrote.

The latest incident follows an 11-day blackout in December 2015 when several electricity pylons were blown up by Ukrainian activists.

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