Energy blockade of Crimea raises 5 inconvenient questions, Kazarin says

A high-power electrical transmission tower in Kherson oblast transporting energy to Crimea, damaged by an explosive blast. November 21, 2015. (Image: UkrEnergo)

A high-power electrical transmission tower in Kherson oblast transporting energy to Crimea, damaged by an explosive blast. November 21, 2015. (Image: UkrEnergo) 

2015/11/23 - 22:32 • Analysis & Opinion, Crimea

The blowing up of power lines in order to intensify the energy blockade of Crimea not only “very sharply raises the stakes” of the action as a whole but raises five “questions which it is usually not considered polite to ask,” Pavel Kazarin of ICTV and Krym.Realii says.

Pavel Kazarin, Ukrainian journalist (Image:

Pavel Kazarin, Ukrainian journalist (Image:

And even if one believes as Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilyev does that it is long past time to break all ties between Ukraine and Russia, the country that seized Crimea illegally and is conducting a war against Ukraine as a whole, Kazarin’s questions deserve to be taken seriously.

His first question is the most brutal: Where is the Ukrainian government? “From the very first day of the goods blockade, official Kyiv has taken a wait and see position.” It hasn’t interfered but it hasn’t openly supported it either. But it needs to take a position: either the blockade is illegal and should be ended, or it is a matter of state policy and must continue.

The destruction of the electric power lines “raises the stakes” as far as this issue is concerned, Kazarin says. “Anti-tank mines” which were used to blow up the electric lines don’t correspond to “’an action of civic protest.’ And therefore the question arises:” What position is the Ukrainian government going to take: implicit support for the blockade or open opposition?

Kazarin’s second question follows: “On behalf of whom is [the blockade] being carried out?” Some activists say it is intended to hit the Russian force and occupation structures in Crimea and that the pro-Ukrainian population will not only understand but be able to survive the cutoff in power.

“In the final analysis,” he continues, “this position is as follows: we are doing ill to some in order it will be better for others. And if this position is presented as an act of concern about the Crimean Tatars, then there arise questions concerning good sense and logic” given that the occupiers are persecuting people for their convictions rather than their ethnic memberships.

Those Crimean Tatars who have been willing to collaborate with the occupation are supported, Kazarin notes, while those Ukrainians and Russians who have not have been persecuted. Does the blockade undermine this or reinforce it? That is something those behind the blockade need to think about.

The third question is “What is the goal of the energy blockade?” Supporters give a variety of answers to that, the commentator says. Some say that it will force the Kremlin to spend more to support Crimea or to negotiate about it. Others simply assert that it is “unethical” to have anything to do with an invader or occupier.

But none of them, Kazarin insists, give a clear answer to the question: “How will the energy blockade affect the fate of political prisoners?” It simply is too blunt an instrument for that. And he says, “it sometimes seems” that some support the blockade for emotional reasons and have chosen electricity because it is the last thing “Kyiv supplies Crimea.”

If so, then “the energy blockade was chosen not because it is the most effective instrument… [but] only because it is the only one remaining” – and that all explanations offered are only an effort to give meaning to it after the fact.

The fourth question is critical: “How will [people and powers] in Crimea react?” Backers of the blockade say pro-Ukrainian Crimeans will understand and support it, but they forget two things: On the one hand, the authorities will certainly help the army before they help the population. And on the other, people have real immediate needs that this will threaten.

And finally, the fifth question, “Is it worth pretending?” Some backers implicitly or even explicitly suggest that they want to force Moscow to do something and that “the opinions of the Crimeans themselves do not play any role because the Crimeans are not the ones taking decisions.”

At the very least, that suggests some of those backing the blockade are behaving in a less than fully ethical position; at the worst, it means that this action could backfire and end by working for Moscow rather than against it. But however that may be, Kazarin suggests, Ukrainians and the Ukrainian state should be asking themselves these tough questions.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Jari Hämäläinen

    Crimea belongs to Tatars, not any Russian green men or their collaborators. So this kind of actions can be understood as partisan war. Some day Russia will be forced to withdraw from both Crimea and also Donbass regions. Before that day, no co-operation with these occupiers is anyhow recommended.

    • Alfa Omega

      Can you tell who lived in Crimea before Tatars arrived?

      • Jari Hämäläinen

        It depends how far into the past you want to go. At one moment of history Crimea was ruled by Makedonian Alexander the Great (not to be confused to any minor Russian Alexanders!) But Tatarian ancestors were there much before any sub-human Russian came.

  • Dirk Smith


  • OlenaG

    You are smoking too much dope. It is “Thank God” not “Thanks God.” So please explain to me why Ukraine should supply gas, water, and electricity to Crimea occupied by Russian Solders? In a basic direct sense why should Ukraine give free gas, water and electricity to the enemy not only occupying its territory but trying to destroy it. Bottom line. Putin seized it. Putin owns it. Putin is responsible for providing for Crimea.

    • Quartermaster

      Russia is a failed state. It is pretty much run by organized crime, and the chief criminal is Putin himself.

      Good luck on getting that connection across the Kerch strait. That’s gonna take awhile.

      • Quartermaster

        The failed state Crimea needs to get away from is the regime in Moscow.

        It will be quite a bit longer than 2 months for the Kerch strait projects to be able to supply anything to Crimea. You have no idea what the Engineering alone will require.

        The best thing that could happen to Crimea is for the little green men to get back into Russia. All they are now is agents for a criminal state that is not far from financial collapse.

        • Quartermaster

          You should try stand up comedy. But it would be better if you actually had something funny to say rather than lies. Crimea is Ukraine and Russia is a thief. Crimeans did not express their will in a “referendum” that Stalin would have been proud of.

          • Quartermaster

            Wrong. Crimea remains Ukraine. The Russian version of Hitler in the Kremlin does not get to steal then deny that soemthing doesn’t belong to its rightful owner. The only war that there is in Crimea was started by Russians, and Russians will pay the price for their Fuehrer’s actions they went along with.

            That’s the real world Roosky!

          • Quartermaster

            That’s nice. Only problem is you Rooskies have no desire to accept DEMOCRACY. That’s why the troops are still there, and why Rooskies are busy stealing property and jailing anyone who dares dissent.

            You you thieves are all for DEMOCRACY when it goes your way. Particularly when as Stalin did, you counted the “votes.”

            Too bad that you are paid shill for Putin, and a liar to boot. It’s you Rooskies that are doing the shooting, sacking and destroying.

          • Quartermaster

            I’m sure by Putin’s and your Stalinist ancestor’s measures they voted. But, as I’ve already pointed out, Putin is keeping troops and repression in place. If it had been a true vote, none of that would be necessary.

            You can spread lies and propaganda all you like, but there is no future in shilling for the fascist regime in Moscow. It will come to bite you hard in the long run.

            The “Maidan nuts” don’t exist. The Neonazis of Moscow, on the other hand, are real, and you are one of them as is every soldier and Rooskie policeman in Crimea. The best thing for eberyone is for Putin to take his version of the SS and go home. leave Ukraine to those it belongs to, and quit stealing the country from its rightful owners – Ukrainians.

          • Quartermaster

            It’s not necessary for me to delude my self about anything. You Rooskie neo-Nazis have cornered that market. The only place the “maidanuts” exist is in the minds of you and your fellow neo-Nazis.

            If Crimeans were so hot about being away from Ukraine, Your neo-Nazi leaders in the Kremlin wouldn’t have to keep troops there.

            Putin knows the truth about Crimea, you aren’t telling it because the truth is not in you or in your neo-Nazi leader, Putin.

          • Quartermaster

            There are no maidanuts except in your mind. The danger in Crimea are the Rooski thieves. You and your fellow idiots are nothing but a bunch of nekulturny fools stealing everything in reach to try to keep Putin’s Neo-Nazi regime going.

            If Crimeans really think what you claim, get the thugs you call Police out of the peninsula and leave it to the population living there. I think we both know what will happen if Putin lifts the repression.

            The only one disturbing anyone is you and your nekulturny friends. get out of Ukraine. It doesn’t belong to you, or your fellow thugs.

          • Quartermaster

            The current hardship in Crimea is a direct result of Putin’s theft. You may call it what you wish, but delirium it is not. Crimea is Ukraine and the theft of a Neo-Nazi will not change that fact. If the people of Crimea wanted to be part of Russia then Putin would not have had to engage in repression.
            Maidanuts exist only in your Neo-Nazi mind. Get out of Ukraine Rooski. Go back to Russia and quit invading your neighbors.

          • Quartermaster

            Putin’s repression is a fact oif the neo-Nazi regime imposed on Crimea by Putin. The only place maidanuts exist is in your mind nekulturny troll.

            Crimea is Ukraine. You can tell the lie about the dishonest referendum all you like. That referendum is recognized nowhere other than in Putin’s and your trollish mind. Get over it Neo-Nazi, Crimea was stolen from Ukraine, and it rightfully belongs to Ukraine not a bunch Neo-Nazi thieves in Moscow.

            Take your fellow nekulturny pigs and get out of Ukraine.

          • Quartermaster

            Crimea IS Ukraine. Putin has simply stolen the land from its rightful owners. Russia is the failed state and it’s people have so little it sees Putin’s theft as a great thing. That is a strong sign of a failed state when the people under it think theft is a good thing.

            You can delude yourself all you like. The fake referendum determined nothing and was simply an attempt to mask the theft of Ukrainian territory from its people.

            If you think many people, other than Russians, are gullible enough to believe Tass, you are sadly mistaken.

            Take your fellow nekulturny pigs and leave Ukraine, all of it.

          • Quartermaster

            Attempting to use the fake referendum to say Crimeans disagree is the height of dishonesty. Any referendum “supervised” by you nekulturny pigs is no referendum, it’s a smoke screen.
            The hardships being endured by the oppressed Crimeans is entirely the result of Putin’s criminal acts. Saying Ukraine tried to “starve” them is a Rooski lie., But lies are what you trolls deal in. It’s your stock in trade.
            The word hatred does not mean what you think it means. Facts are not hatred.
            Russia is already a failed state. Crimea will go back to its rightful owners, the people you nekulturny pigs have attempted to enslave in their own country. Take your fellow nekulturny pigs and go back to Russia. Get out of Ukraine.

          • Quartermaster

            It’s really nice of you to admit that Crimea belongs to the Crimeans. Now it’s just a small step to your admission of the additional truth you hate so much: Crimeans are Ukrainian.
            The ships of the Ukrainian Navy were taken by Russian invaders. It is a lie that the sailors of the Ukrainian Navy hoisted the Russian rag voluntarily, but lies are your stock in trade.
            Crimean resistance has been repressed brutally by Russian pigs who invaded the country. Time for truth Russian pig troll: Putinstanis invaded Crimea to steal the land, and keep the rightful owners from deciding their own fate. Russia is a failed state, and people like you trolling Ukrainian sites are an example of the type of people a failed state produces: thieves that justify theft.
            Keep trolling nekulturny pig.

          • Quartermaster

            No, they did not decide to be Russian anymore than Jews decided they wanted to be jailed in Auschwitz. You live in a world where lies are the stock in trade. Putin was trained by the KGB to be a liar, but he, and you, think everyone is as stupid as the leftists in US universities.

            In the REAL WORLD, Crimeans were ever given a legal referendum.

            The majority of the artillery fired in the Donbas was Russian. There is plenty of video as to what Russian artillery has done in the Donbass, as well as Russian military equipment, as well as military Identification and Russian internal passports taken from Russian troops that have been captured in the Donbas as well the same stuff taken off Russian corpses. You and the other filthy Russian pigs have consistently lied about Russian troops in the Donbas as well as what has been done in Crimea.

            There are no videos coming out of Crimea on what the Russian pigs have done there because the Ukrainians in the Crimea are being watched like hawks so you pigs can do your best to keep the truth from seeping out. What is most inconvenient for you is Russians themselves, who are ashamed of their country has done in Ukraine, have been telling the truth. Eventually, video will get out and one of your own will bring it out.

            Get out of Ukraine you filthy Russian pig. And take your fellow filthy nekulturny pigs with you.

            You were posting your lies here when the power was down. You aren’t anywhere in Ukraine. Your just a liar.

          • Quartermaster

            Russia Today is a propaganda site. That’s not even a nice try on the bridge dude. Everyone knows it’s owned by Putin.

            Ukraine is nothing like you claim. Russia is a failed state and that’s why it is lashing out. If the sanctions stay on, Russia will be out of money at the end of next year, at the latest. Putin is dragging Russia into an abyss that will see it break apart. Russia is losing now.

            Crimea belongs to Ukraine. It matters not what excuses you want to make about control of the Black Sea or anything else. If Russia behaves itself, it has no reason to fear anyone else. It’s only when it is lashing out as it is that it courts trouble. Putinstan is now a pariah state, congratulations.

            By the by, Novorossiysk is an excellent location for a Naval Base that just as commanding as the base you filthy pigs stole in Sevastopol. A base, in fact, was being built there as it was expected the fleet was going to have to move.

            Take your filthy nekulturny pig brothers and get out of Ukraine.

          • Jari Hämäläinen

            How much Putler is paying you, troll?

        • BCHistorian

          I travelled a number of times to Ukrainian Crimea. I don’t recall seeing any poverty, but rather a beautiful peninsula without strife…not until Russia invaded. Civil war? Surely you jest.

      • BCHistorian

        What a joke! You think the Kerch link will be ready in a couple of months? Try a few years, if ever. Wishful thinking.

        • Quartermaster

          Suuuuuure there is.

        • Jari Hämäläinen

          And suddenly in the heat of the night those cabletowers are blown to ground…

    • BCHistorian

      Fine, then you are happy to pay higher prices for inferior quality ruSSian goods. Then, don’t speak from both sides of your mouth. A complete blockade? You got it.

  • Forgotten Ghost

    Hmm… the first two reports of this that I read didn’t mention the method used to “blow up” the lines. I originally suspected that the lines themselves were targeted atop the pylons, something easily achieved by a civil protest with meager equipment. Military grade AT mines? That doesn’t seem plausible, in the context of mere protestors from Ukraine. While they may have had access to some military equipment, it is unlikely that they would have used mines of that strength for something which could be achieved with far less power. Ukraine needs those mines, and the damage to the pylons will require resources that Ukraine doesn’t have to spare for repairs. Russia not only benefits, but they are already playing it to the hilt for maximium Ukraine-bashing effect. As informnapalm said, they didn’t say much when the pylons were merely damaged, but when they actually fell, they started whining, right on cue. Having a Chinese cable feeding ship dock with transponders off in October, I somehow missed, but that is a major red flag, as it shows prior knowledge and direction of intent.
    Stinking rats, I put nothing past them.

  • Tony

    As far as I understand, Ukraine can still further reduce the supply of water to Crimea. Historically Crimea is arid, its Ukranian river water that allowed the agricultural sector there to pick up, without that the Russian government would probably have to subsidize more food, unless they dont mind loosing popularity.

  • Alfa Omega

    ha ha ha

  • Alfa Omega

    Crimea was, is and always be in Russia. This is what is opinion of vast majority in Poland. You, Ukrainians, are not our friends. Remember that.