Author: Tatyana Ivzhenko

CRIMEA ELECTRIFIES UKRAINIAN POLITICS. (By Tatyana Ivzhenko. Nezavisimaya gazeta, Nov. 23, 2015, p. 1. Condensed text:) . . . The situation along the border of Kherson Province and the Crimea once again found itself in the spotlight late last week, when unknown persons blew up four pylons that carry high-voltage power lines in Genichesky and Chaplinsky districts. The pylons did not collapse but were damaged.

On Saturday [Nov. 21], Ukrainian police tried to push back activists blockading the Crimea in order to give emergency crews access to the pylons. According to the Ukrainian media, the operation was headed by Ilya Kiva, head of the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry's antinarcotics department. He explained, "The main task was to protect the lives of the protesters at the site of the accident - the damaged pylons are still carrying 350,000 volts of electricity, and if one of them were to collapse, it would kill anyone within 500 meters of it."

But those explanations came later. According to Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, in the morning, the police did not explain why they stormed [the protesters]: "That's why activists blocking [the roads] thought that someone had decided to help out the [Russian] occupying forces." A fight broke out, resulting in injured police officers, activists and journalists. During the day, it became known that emergency crews had completed grounding the pylons. But the evening brought reports of new explosions. "The pylons have just been blown up," Ilya Kiva confirmed.

The Crimea went dark by midnight. Krymenergo [Crimean Energy] director Viktor Plakida told TASS: "The Crimea is completely without power; I can't give any details yet." A state of emergency was declared in the region.

By Sunday morning, power had been partially restored to major cities. This was announced by Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Sheremet. Yevgeny Demin, Crimean deputy minister of fuel and energy, said that large mobile power ...

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