06:54 GMT26 January 2021
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    Russia is supplying electricity to the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) as a humanitarian response to Kiev's suspension of its supply of electricity to the region, a source familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Kiev-controlled energy authority in Lughansk said that Ukraine's Energy Ministry and state company Energorynok had decided to halt the electricity supplies to the LPR from midnight on April 25 (21:00 GMT on April 24), citing the self-proclaimed republic's debt for the received electricity.

    "Such actions of the Ukrainian authorities can lead to the humanitarian catastrophe, that is why it was decided to provide the electricity supply from the territory of Russia as part of rendering the humanitarian assistance to the LPR's population," the source said.

    The current level of the electricity supply in LPR is being maintained, the source added.

    On Monday, the LPR Emergencies Ministry's head Sergei Ivanushkin said that at 11:41 p.m. local time (20:41 GMT) on April 24, Kiev's authorities halted the electricity supplies to Lugansk's energy plant as well as the one receiving electricity via the transit electric lines on the LPR territory. All the enterprises and population of republic have been supplied with electricity despite the move, Ivanushkin stressed, adding that LPR's authorities have been preparing for such a emergency situation since 2014 and have agreed on receiving electricity on the contract basis with other sources.

    The humanitarian situation in the LPR and well as the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk (DPR) is deteriorating amid the military conflict between local independence supporters and the Kiev authorities.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Tags:
    Lugansk People's Republic, electricity, Ukrainian crisis, Donbass, Russia, Lugansk
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