State of emergency declared in Crimea

Moscow, Nov 22 (IANS) A state of emergency was declared in Crimea after transmission towers in the neighbouring Ukraine’s Kherson region were blown up, causing a blackout, media reported on Sunday.

Crimean authorities rushed to connect hospitals and other vital infrastructure to power stations and generators late Saturday after the four main transmission lines from Ukraine were cut off on Friday, RT news reported.

Nearly 1.9 million people have been left partly or fully without electricity. While important public facilities and infrastructure have been wired up to sources of energy, homes all across the region have been left in the dark.

The regional energy ministry has created an emergency response centre to deal with the power cut.

“Crimea has been completely cut off,” the Krymenergo energy company’s director Viktor Plakida told TASS news agency.

As a result, Crimean emergencies ministry declared a state of emergency due to the complete power outage and has put rescue teams on high alert.

Images circulated on social media appeared to show Ukrainian flags attached to the damaged pylons.

Ukrainian authorities said they encountered activists blockading the site when they tried to repair the damaged pylons.

“The nature of the damage shows that it took place as a result of shelling or the use of explosive devices,” Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo said in a statement.

Crimean Tatars, an ethnic group native to the peninsula who oppose Russian rule, held a protest at the site of the broken power lines in Kherson region.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014.

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