Two gas pipelines were damaged in the Russian Repuplic of Crimea on November 1, the state-run media outlet RIA reported. Gas pipe lines near Zaprudnoye village on the southern coast of Crimea and near Vinogradnoye village not far from Alushta, leaving approximately 1,500 people are without heating.
According to Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee, the gas pipe lines may have been damaged due to intentional sabotage. The gas pipeline explosions came shortly one after the other, also suggesting it was sabotage.
“The nature of the damages to the pipe line seems to imply external influence. It’s possible it’s sabotage”, said Sergey Tarasov, the head of state Crimean energy company Krymgazseti.
The Ukrainian-Russian border in northern Crimea was closed for a short time on the same day. The official reason for closing the border was said to be “technical difficulties”, although it is possible that the border was closed in order to stop the saboteurs from crossing back to Ukraine.
Russian Federal Security Service previously detained six members of Hizb ut-Tahrir back in October, and arrested Security Service of Ukraine spies in September. In 2016, a captured Security Service of Ukraine sabotage unit was aiming to sabotage military and essential objects on the peninsula.
Thus, the recent developments in Crimea may be a start of new wave of Ukrainian subversive activities in Crimea. It’s intereting to note that this activity is aimed against the Crimean population, but not at the so-called Russian occupation forces.