Aksyonov confirms unprecedented drought in Crimea

The head of the annexed Crimea Sergey Aksyonov called this year one of the driest in 150 years of weather observations.

"Today, our main problem is the drought. Unfortunately, this is one of the driest years. During 150 years of weather observation, we have the least amount of precipitation this year, this almost never happened," RIA Novosti quotes Aksyonov as saying.

At the same time, Aksyonov noted that in recent days the weather has changed, and there have been rains in Crimea.

"We hope that this dynamic will continue," he said.

According to Aksenov, despite the drought, Crimea has sufficient food supplies. Aksyonov called on the local authorities to prevent the increase in food prices.

Earlier, Russian State Duma deputy and former Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet  because of the interruption of fresh water supply to the peninsula from Ukraine, RIA Novosti reports.

"We urge you to strongly condemn the criminal actions of the Ukrainian side, which blatantly violate international law and directly violate the obligations of this country in the field of human rights," the RIA Novosti quoted Poklonskaya's letter as saying.

Ukraine closed the floodgates of the North Crimea Canal in 2014 after the peninsula was annexed by Russia. The canal to Crimea received water from the Dnieper River, which provided 85% of the needs of the agricultural industry in the region.

In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.

On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.

International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

  Crimea, Aksyonov