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Ukraine Suspends Trains, Buses To Crimea, Citing Security Concerns

A Christmas tree in Simferopol remains unlit and an electric bus is immobilized as Crimea experiences its second power outage this week,

Ukraine says it is halting all train services to Russian-annexed Crimea because of security concerns.

The decision by Ukraine's state rail company comes 10 days after Russia decided to suspend its own train service to Crimea due to low ticket demand.

Separately, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry ordered bus companies to stop bus services to Crimea starting December 26.

The total suspension of train and bus services means most of the peninsula's 2.3 million residents will only be able to reach mainland Ukraine by car or cross into Russia using an outdated ferry service.

Some Russian flights are continuing to Crimea's central city of Simferopol despite European Union sanctions against the air companies depriving them of aircraft insurance and service contracts.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities have blamed Ukraine for cutting off electricity supplies to Crimea on December 26, for the second time this week.

Widespread blackouts hit Crimea on December 24 after Ukraine cut power supplies, blaming the region for exceeding electricity consumption limits.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and