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Crimea blockade participants to start working jointly with Ukrainian border guards - media

March 28, 2016, 3:42 updated at: March 28, 2016, 5:09 UTC+3 KIEV

"At 10:00 a.m., we are starting at three checkpoints: Chongara, Chaplinka and Kalanchak," - Crimea Civil Blockade organization announced

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© Alexey Pavlishak/TASS Archive

KIEV, March 28. /TASS/. Participants of Crimea’s blockade will from Monday be on duty at checkpoints at the entrance to the peninsula from the Ukrainian side, the Crimea Civil Blockade organization told the UNN news agency.

"At 10:00 a.m., we are starting at three checkpoints: Chongara, Chaplinka and Kalanchak," a spokesman said.

Joint duty by border guards and blockade participants, UNN said, is "a new format of the action on Crimea’s blockade." Blockade participants will only be observers and will not be able to detain or check people or cargoes on their own.

In September 2015, Ukrainian activists organized the so-called "food blockade" of Crimea. They blocked trucks carrying foodstuffs preventing them from entering Crimea from Ukraine. Local raw materials supplies by rail were soon also blocked.

In November 2015, "energy blockade" of the peninsula started. Crimea was left without power overnight to November 22, 2015 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.

The situation stabilized after the launch on December 2, 2015 of the first thread of the "energy bridge" from Russia’s southern Krasnodar Territory, which gave the peninsula an additional 250 MW of electric power. The commissioning of the second thread of the "energy bridge" on December 15 increased its power to 400 MW.

In March 2016, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published in Geneva the UN’s 13th report on the situation with rights and freedoms in Ukraine. The document contained a call on the Kiev authorities to investigate human rights violations committed during the so-called blockade of Crimea.

Crimea’s reunification with Russia

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.

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