KRASNOGVARDEYSK/K’URMAN (QHA) -

Like any other village of Crimea, Oktyabrskoye was hit by a power outage on Saturday night. On Sunday night, electricity was back on from 2 a.m. till 6 a.m. before being shut off again. Since then, the villagers have had to do without electricity. And the same goes for many other towns and villages of Crimea.

“Unlike major cities where power is available for several hours a day, small villages like ours are facing a desperate situation. Power was back on for several hours during the night but we could not do anything within such a short time! Our phones are discharged, we have no water running, and the food goes bad because the fridge runs on electricity. We are lucky because we don’t rely on electricity for heating, but many households do. Families with small kids have to stay in unheated houses ,” says a resident of Oktyabrskoye.

There is no bread available in the local food store because the grain storage facility is not working. There are long lines outside food stores where some kind of food is still available.

To make matters worse, the villagers are having trouble reaching their relatives on the phone because their mobile phones are not working.

“Yesterday, we tried, unsuccessfully, calling an ambulance because one of our fellow villagers got sick. We could not take him to the hospital in our car because we could not buy any gasoline. As it turned out later, there was no power in the hospital, either. What more options other than dying do we have? Crimea is no longer a place supporting life,” say the disgruntled villagers.

There is no running water so the villagers have been using the water supply they stocked up on before the blackout hit.

A lot of the filling stations have closed down, and there are long lines outside the ones that are still working. Speculators were quick to take advantage of the situation and are now offering gasoline at three times the regular price next to the filling stations.

Outlets of the PUD store chain are closed. Local bank branches are closed and ATMs are not working, so depositing money in one’s bank account is now a problem.

Electrical appliances have gone up in price and candles are sold 100 rubles a piece. The only ones barely affected by the power outage are owners of diesel generators.

Bus tickets offices are closed, with passengers having to pay their fare upon arrival to their destination. All electricity-driven commuter trains have been replaced with diesel ones.

QHA