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Ukraine Cuts Power To Crimea Again, Citing Faulty Equipment

Men play chess during a power cut in Yalta, Crimea, late last month.

A Crimean official has said that Ukraine has cut off a major source of electrical power to the region, a month after saboteurs first plunged the peninsula annexed by Russia into darkness.

Kirill Moskalenko, a spokesman for the governor of Sevastopol city, said on December 31 that Ukraine had cut off the Kakhovka-Titan line to Crimea.

"The line has supplied the peninsula with 250 megawatts. Due to the lack of power supply, Sevastopol is receiving 150 megawatts instead of 195 megawatts," Moskalenko said.

The Ukrainian operator of the power grid, Ukrenergo, said it shut down the Kakhovka-Titan line because some protective equipment came off in the town of Kakhovka, the TASS news agency reported.

Kakhovka-Titan had been the only functioning overhead high-voltage transmission line out of four lines that Ukrenergo used to deliver electricity to customers in Crimea before the end of November.

Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, needs around 1 gigawatt of power to keep the lights on.

Crimean authorities said they would limit the use of electricity following the power interruption, which began at around 10 p.m. local time on December 30.

"We will switch ... [the] power usage schedule. City lighting will be powered down," the government said in a statement.

Electrical power to Crimea was shut off at the end of November when saboteurs blew up pylons in southern Ukraine which supported the four lines that supplied Crimea with the bulk of its power. Ukraine nationalists then blocked access to the location and prevented Ukrainian energy workers from repairing them.

The saboteurs have not been identified. Crimean Tatars were prominent members of the group blockading the site, but they denied they had anything to do with blowing up the pylons.

The power cuts affected some 2 million people, who had to use emergency generators for electricity. Power was partly restored after about two weeks.

With reporting by Reuters, TASS, Interfax, and
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