Crimea brought to standstill after Russian power shutdown
The annexed Crimea peninsula was brought to a standstill for two hours Friday after a shutdown in Russia hit supplies there, officials said, the latest in a series of cuts.
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.
Regional energy minister Vadim Belik told Russian news agencies that electricity was “totally turned off” in the region after the shutdown in Russia’s nearby Krasnodar region.
Russia’s energy ministry said that emergency systems in Krasnodar had shut down supplies due to overheating.
An AFP correspondent in the city of Sevastopol reported that an unstable supply of power had returned by late Friday afternoon.
But it was the latest major outage to hit Crimea, highlighting how vulnerable supplies to the Black Sea peninsula remain more than three years after Russia seized it from Ukraine.
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 had been diverted illegally to Crimea.