Kyiv: Russia may resort to military escalation to ensure water supply to Crimea

Former Prime Minister of Crimea, ex-chairman of the Sevastopol City Council Serhiy Kunitsyn belives that the reserves of fresh water in the annexed Crimea are almost exhausted and there is only two months supply of water left. Because of this, the Kremlin may decide to begin militarily operation and Ukraine must be ready for it, said Kunitsyn on air of

"The water situation is critical, without Ukraine they will not be able to solve this problem, because objectively such a volume of water does not exist. They cannot, as in Singapore, spend $100 billion dollars to desalinate the sea water," Kunitsyn said.

According to him, fresh water taken from wells in Crimea is no longer enough because of the growing population of the peninsula.

"Russia can take some actions, military escalation. They don't need Kherson, they need the Kakhovka Sea and the gateways in the area of Tavriysk and Kakhovka, because without it, you can't get water to Crimea. It’s necessary to pay serious attention to this fact, because we have already seen both Crimea and the Donbas... At that time, too, no one expected, but it happened. We have to be ready," Kunitsyn said.

This is not the first time such fears have been expressed by politicians and experts. At the same time, Russia does not respond to statements about a possible military offensive and the likely seizure of the North-Crimean Canal.

Head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov says 2020 is the driest year in 150 years of weather observations.

Over the past month, the water levels in Crimea’s natural water reservoirs decreased by 7.1 million cubic meters, the Crimean officials acknowledged.

The Russian publication Proekt reported on June 3 that the Russian authorities of annexed Crimea are not able to solve problems with water supply to the peninsula .

Ukrainian military and law enforcement officers have stepped up security of infrastructure in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions due to information "about a possible Russian invasion in order to gain control over the North Crimean Canal."

The Permanent Mission of the President of Ukraine in Crimea reported that the supply of water to Russia-annexed Crimea and Sevastopol via the North Crimean Canal is possible only after the “de-occupation of the peninsula”.

Ukraine used to provide up to 85% of Crimea's fresh water through the North-Crimean Canal, which connects the Dnieper River with the peninsula. After Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, water supplies to the peninsula were cut off.

Water reserves in Crimea are replenished from reservoirs of natural runoff and underground sources. According to ecologists, the excessive use of water from natural sources has led to the salinization of the soil on the peninsula. Crimean authorities regularly call on the residents of the peninsula to save water.

  Crimea, Aksyonov, Russia, Ukraine