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SIMFEROPOL, January 20. /TASS/. The damage caused to Crimean enterprises by the disruption of electricity supply from Ukraine in November last year has exceeded 1.1 billion rubles, the republic’s Prosecutor’s Office reported on Wednesday.
The data on the damage have been provided by the Krymenergo state-run power company that receives reports from the peninsula’s organizations.
"According to the electricity supply company, the damage amounts to 1.124 billion rubles," the Prosecutor's Office of Crimea said. "According to the criminal procedure law, the court consideration and granting of a civil claim is the main means of ensuring compensation for the damage to the affected party. The legal action may be taken against the defendant or the persons, including legal entities that are financially liable for his actions."
The data on the damage caused by the blackout have been sent to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) department for Crimea and Sevastopol, which is investigating a criminal case over blowing up of the towers of power transmission lines supplying electricity from Ukraine to Crimea that disrupted the power supply.
Previously, Crimean Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya told reporters that different ministries and departments of Crimea suffered damage in excess of 360 million rubles as a result of the blackout and the process of eliminating the consequences of the emergency. "This sum is formed from the losses reported by the ministries of industrial policy, health and transport. In other words, the costs incurred by various departments," the prosecutor said on January 13.
The main defendant in the case of sabotage is one of the organizers of the so-called blockade of Crimea, former Deputy Prime Minister of the republic Lenur Islyamov. His property in Crimea and Moscow has been arrested by a court ruling.
Crimea was left without power overnight to November 22 after unknown assailants blew up electricity pylons in Ukraine’s Kherson region. An energy saving regime was imposed on the peninsula, with many enterprises suspending their activity; rolling blackouts started in all inhabited localities. Crimea considers these actions an act of terrorism.
Poklonskaya said previously that the damage from the blackout is not only material. "It created a threat to the life and health of the population. That is, in fact, we assess the damage not only in numerical terms. When the electricity supply was cut off, it affected people in our hospitals, the educational process was disrupted, the operation of organisations, industrial enterprises was blocked", the Crimean prosecutor said in December last year.
The Crimean parliament speaker told TASS in an interview previously that in his view, the damage caused by the disruption of electricity supply from Ukraine may amount to billions of roubles. In particular, the republic will incur significant costs if the decision is made to pay compensation to the workers of the companies that had to stand idle during the energy crisis.
Crimea had faced a serious shortage of electricity since November 22 after bomb blasts had destroyed two power transmission line towers in Ukraine. The powerlines were crucial for delivering electricity to the peninsula. The situation was complicated after anti-Russian activists, engaged in the so-called blockade of Crimea, prevented repair crews from restoring energy supplies. Immediately after the blackout, Crimean authorities declared a state of emergency and put in place a power delivery schedule. The regional government said that the attack deprived about 1.9 million people of electricity and that the state of emergency would be lifted only after the energy supply to the peninsula has been fully restored.
Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said then that Crimea might refuse from electric power supply from Ukraine if it is resumed. "I get lots of appeals from Crimeans through social networks who are unanimous in the conviction we shouldn't take electricity from Ukraine ever again if the Kiev authorities decide to start selling it again," he said. Aksyonov previously blamed Kiev for the Crimean peninsula’s blockade, which he believes can be lifted only after Ukraine ousts its incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko. "It is impossible to build any political relations with this crazy government [of Ukraine — TASS]. I am convinced we will improve our relations with Ukraine and the border will open as soon as the incumbent president of Ukraine is ousted from power," Aksyonov said.