KIEV (Sputnik) — The ongoing conflict in Donbass has been a fertile ground for anti-Russian rhetoric among Ukrainian political elites.
"We announced the mobilization of all our supporters. We are registering people and, as soon as we are physically ready… will completely cut off the supply of coal from Russia," Anatoly Vinogrodsky said at a press conference.
Earlier Ukrainian Energy Minister Igor Nasalik issued directives to revenue and customs agencies to confiscate coal shipments originating from Donetsk and Lugansk regions — a decision prompted by an energy crisis that erupted following the economic blockade imposed against these territories by Ukrainian forces.
In late January, a group of former participants of Ukraine's military operation in Donbass blocked trafficon several segments of freight rail lines running from the territories uncontrolled by Kiev. The blockade led to irregularities in supplies of anthracite coal from Donbass, leading to power shortages in Ukraine and prompting Kiev to declare an energy emergency.