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Crimea back to full power – Russian energy ministry

Crimea back to full power – Russian energy ministry
Electricity has been fully restored to Crimea, the Russian Energy Ministry announced on Tuesday. The region has been under a partial blackout after Ukrainian activists blew up power lines providing electricity to the peninsula on November 22.

“On December 8, a 220 KV line linking Kakhovsky-Titan-Krasnoperekopsk was switched on,” the ministry said on its website, confirming reports from officials in Ukraine’s Kherson region.

On Tuesday, Kherson officials said they had partly restored power to the Crimean peninsula.  They said the power line was repaired following an agreement with Ukrainian activists attempting an energy and provisions blockade of Crimea. The activists had earlier prevented repair crews from restoring energy supplies.

Crimea has been facing a serious shortage of electricity since last month after power lines in Ukraine were sabotaged. The blown up pylons delivered electricity to the peninsula. Nearly 1.9 million people were left partly or fully without electricity. Crimean authorities declared a state of emergency and put in place a power rationing schedule.

Last week, the first power line was extended from the Russian mainland across the Kerch Strait providing 200 MW of electricity to Eastern Crimea. Another 200 MW will be delivered by a second power cable expected to be connected by December 20. This should cover 80-90 percent of Crimea's energy needs. Prior to the blackout Crimea was receiving about 70 percent of its energy from Ukraine.

READ MORE: Crimea one step closer to energy independence from Ukraine

Russia’s construction of the 14 kilometer long power bridge across the Kerch Strait to Crimea started in October to cut the peninsula’s electricity dependence on Kiev. The second stage of the construction is scheduled to be finished next summer and to increase the power delivery to 800-840 MW.