The “cotton” season starting in Crimea?
Explosions on the railway and military airfields, a fire at an oil depot and a gas pipeline explosion, drone attacks, blackouts - incidents are happening more and more often in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
On Sunday evening, after 22:00 Kyiv time, many areas of the temporarily occupied Simferopol and the suburbs lost electricity. The so-called adviser to the occupation authorities of Crimea, Oleg Kryuchkov, said that there was a "technological blackout". He did not name the cause of the malfunction. Local residents reported on Telegram channels that they had seen a bright flash in the sky and heard an explosion before the blackout.
Despite the promises of the so-called Krymenergo that the problem would be solved in an hour, in the evening, only some settlements near Simferopol received electricity. The city itself was engulfed in darkness. Public transport stopped, and shops and pharmacies were closed. According to Krymenergo, the power supply in Simferopol was fully restored in the morning.
This is not the first blackout in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Exactly a month ago, on 21 April, almost all of Sevastopol and Simferopol, as well as Saki and Dzhankoy, were cut off from electricity, and power was also lost in Dzhankoy, Krasnogvardeysk, and Krasnogvardeysk districts. The occupiers then claimed that the "automatic load shedding system" had been activated, without actually naming the reason why this had happened.
It should be noted that the invaders have recently been experiencing many unpredictable problems on the peninsula, not only with the energy sector but also with other infrastructure. Let us recall just some of the incidents that have occurred in occupied Crimea since the beginning of spring.
INCIDENTS ON THE RAILWAY
On 19 May, a drone crashed on the railway tracks near the Solone Ozero station in the Dzhankoy district. As reported by the Telegram channel Baza, the contact lines were cut off as a result.
On 18 May, there was an explosion on the railway near the village of Chistenke in Simferopol district. Eight cars of a freight train derailed, five of them overturned. The so-called 'Crimean Railway' stated that this was due to 'interference by unauthorised persons in the operation of railway transport'. A spokesman for the Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Andriy Yusov, commenting on the incident, said that Russia is using the railway connection between Sevastopol and Simferopol to transport weapons used in the war against Ukraine.
According to him, the infrastructure in Crimea will work properly when the peninsula returns to the Ukrainian, internationally recognised legal framework. "There will be no peace there as long as there are Russian terrorists," Yusov said.
The British Ministry of Defence said that the bombing of the railway in the temporarily occupied Crimea could affect the delivery of weapons, including Kalibr cruise missiles, to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
On 20 March, powerful explosions occurred near the railway station in Dzhankoy. Ukrainian intelligence stated that Russian Kalibr NK cruise missiles were destroyed during transport by rail. "The mysterious 'cotton' continues the process of demilitarisation of Russia and prepares the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea for de-occupation," the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said. At the same time, part of Dzhankoy was left without electricity.
At the same time, Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for the press center of the Joint Task Force "South", said that the destruction of Russian missiles in the temporarily occupied Crimea could be another signal to the occupiers that it was time to withdraw their troops.
"Dzhankoy is a hub station. And at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, it was said that the defeat of logistics would be the main means of influencing the reformatting of the enemy's understanding of what to do in Crimea. Now the course is clearly indicated that they need to leave by rail," said Humeniuk.
The occupation authorities did not recognise the "arrivals" at the time but claimed that Russian air defence systems were operating and that the fragments of the system damaged a shop and injured a local resident. However, the invaders declared a state of emergency in the city.
FIRE AT AN OIL DEPOT, EXPLOSION AT A GAS PIPELINE
On 29 April, a fire broke out at an oil depot near Kozacha Bay in Sevastopol.
The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said that the fire destroyed more than 10 tanks with oil products with a total capacity of 40,000 tonnes. "The explosions in Sevastopol are God's punishment for Uman (23 civilians, including 5 children, were killed on 28 April as a result of a Russian missile attack on a residential building in Uman - ed.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reminded that 29 April is the anniversary of the raising of Ukrainian flags on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and in the Sevastopol fortress.
"Panic rumors have spread in the city about the inability of Russian air defence to ensure the security of its own strategic facilities. In turn, sensing the beginning of the so-called "hot holiday season" in the temporarily occupied Crimea, Russian servicemen began to write reports for leave, indicating the places of its holding on the territory of continental Russia," the General Staff added.
The occupiers claimed that the oil depot was attacked by drones.
On 19 March, an explosion occurred on a gas pipeline near Simferopol. According to the Telegram channel BAZA, the explosion damaged a metal pipe and created a 70-centimeter diameter crater.
INCIDENTS WITH RUSSIAN AVIATION IN THE CRIMEA, EXPLOSIONS AT AIRPORTS, IN THE SEVASTOPOL BAY
On 20 May, an explosion occurred at the Kacha airfield near Sevastopol. As a result, the RBC Ukraine online media outlet reported, citing intelligence sources, a military helicopter of the 318th Aviation Regiment of the Russian Armed Forces was damaged.
Natalia Humeniuk, commenting on this on the air of a nationwide telethon, said that the "cotton" season in Crimea is inevitable. "It is blooming and spreading throughout the territory that is being prepared for liberation," Gumeniuk said.
On 12 May, a Russian Mi-28 helicopter crashed in Svetloye village, Dzhankoy district. The Russian Ministry of Defence acknowledged this and stated that both pilots were dead. The Russian ministry said that the helicopter was conducting a "planned training flight without ammunition" and explained the incident as a "malfunction of the equipment".
On 29 March, powerful explosions were heard near the military airfield in the village of Hvardiiske in the Simferopol district, local residents reported on social media.
On 22 March, explosions were heard in the area of Sevastopol Bay. The local public reported an attack by underwater and airborne drones. Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian-appointed mayor of the city, also said that the Russian Black Sea Fleet was attacked by drones. The blast wave shattered windows in nearby buildings. Attacks on Sevastopol and Streletskaya Bay by drones were also reported on 24 April and 1 May.
Natalia Gumenyuk said that after the incidents in Sevastopol, Russian ships are refueling in Novorossiysk, not in Sevastopol Bay as before.
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