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About 50,000 people were left without electricity, 5,000 people without water and another 4,000 people without gas in the city of Luhansk, the chairperson of the Front’s executive committee, Alexander Zinchenko, said.
“Tap water is not treated at all,” he said. Prime minister of the Luhansk People’s Republic Marat Bashirov confirmed this in a video link from Luhansk. Drinking water in the city was enough for just about ten days, he said.
“Deficit in electricity is 60%, which means one third of the city lives without electricity at all, while two-thirds see blackouts for eight to 12 hours,” Bashirov added.
As for public transport, only mini-buses were running in Luhansk, but stop operating at about 3pm to 4 pm for fear of coming under fire, according to him. There was practically no milk in the city, refrigerators were inoperative at the city’s meat-processing plant, and the remaining meat was being sold out, he added. City leadership was trying to store at least some bread for the winter, he said in the video link.
Gas from the Ukrainian power network had already been denied to the unrecognized republic, the prime minister said.The republic is looking into the possibility of getting gas through pipelines from Russia, but this is insufficient. Railway communication with Luhansk is disrupted.
People Front’s co-chairman Oleg Tsaryov said the Donetsk People’s Republic was also facing electricity and water shortages.
“In similar situations in Africa and in the Middle East the world offers humanitarian aid,” he said. “We get no assistance except from Russia,” Tsaryov added.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.