Putin claims mounting crisis in occupied Crimea can be reversed by fresh water supplies under Azov Sea

On December 17, Vladimir Putin said that the mounting water crisis in Russia-occupied Crimea, a crisis that means most residents get water of low quality only four hours a day, can be solved by drilling into what he said are enormous supplies of fresh water lying under the Azov Sea.

Such an enormously expensive project, typical of the giantism of the Soviet and Putin eras and unlikely ever to be realized even if Moscow spends money on it, will do little to help the people in Crimea now, problems that experts there say are the result of “the stupidity, thievery, and desire for government grants” on the part of the occupiers.

Ignat Bakin, a journalist for Moscow’s Znak news agency, says that the Ukrainian peninsula is currently suffering the worst drought since records began to be kept 150 years ago and that everyone agrees that the situation, which has hit the population, agriculture, and the region’s resorts, will only grow worse next year.

Sergey Tyumentsev, head of the Crimean branch of the Russian Greens Party, says that the situation was far from ideal even before 2014 but that since the beginning of the Russian occupation, things have gotten much worse both because Kyiv shut off the canal that supplied 85 percent of the water to the region and because Russian officials have compounded this by ill-informed decisions.

Over the last six years, the occupiers have been drilling expensive new wells even as they have shifted water from one place to another, to try to solve tactically an issue that requires a strategic approach, Tyumentsev says. Various Russian state agencies have even been selling water to one another, something that increases prices but not the amount of water available.

Crimean residents can no longer count on the water they do get being pure enough to drink, and agriculture on the peninsula has been devastated. In Soviet times, there were 400,000 hectares of irrigated land. By 2013, that had fallen to 140,000; but following the Crimean Anschluss, it has collapsed to “no more than 10,000 hectares” and will continue to fall.

The result is what one would expect: rice production has ended, tomatoes and other vegetables are no longer being produced in commercial quantities, and they are now being imported from Azerbaijan and Turkey at far higher prices than ever before, Tyumentsev points out.

Farmers and officials are drilling ever more and ever deeper wells, but such moves are having increasingly “negative consequences for the environmental system,” as the pumped water is increasingly saline and thus harmful to crops, the land, and to anyone who might drink it, the environmentalist says. Salt content of water in Crimea has tripled over the last six years.

One reason that the water supply situation has become so critical is that occupation officials don’t have the studies allowing them to make informed decisions; but a far greater one is that they appear to view the crisis as a way to extract more money from Moscow rather than as something they need to solve to protect the lives of the people on the peninsula.

Moscow is now promising to throw 50 billion rubles (700 million US dollars) at the problem in the coming years; but without a plan to address water purification issues, most of that money will be pocketed by occupation officials rather than be used to address the drought. It and the life of the people under Russian occupation will only get worse.

Next year, in fact, Tyumentsev says, the problems are likely to be far worse than now, creating both an economic and humanitarian crisis that no one will be able to ignore.

(c) EuromaidanPress


  1. “On December 17, Vladimir Putin said that the mounting water crisis in Russia-occupied Crimea, a crisis that means most residents get water of low quality only four hours a day, can be solved by drilling into what he said are enormous supplies of fresh water lying under the Azov Sea.”

    It can be solved by removing your scum back to Muscovy. Crimea has been more or less destroyed by the Russification, and Putin will never admit, that it was his stupidity that has caused all the problems regarding water.

  2. ‘Crimean residents can no longer count on the water they do get being pure enough to drink..’
    Nowhere in Russia has drinkable tap water, so occupied Crimea is no different. If you want to drink water that won’t make you ill in Russia or its occupied areas, you need a strong filter. Most people have their drinking water delivered in 20 litre containers. Same goes for all or most of Ukraine.
    Next year there needs to be a concerted effort to push the putinazi squatters off all land that does not belong to them. That means Donbas, Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, ‘Kaliningrad’, the Japanese northern territories and their latest theft disguised as ‘peacekeeping’ : Nagorno Karabakh.

    • Does Vladolf even know how water works? I suppose they didn’t teach him that in KGB school. If the territory adjacent to spring water is dry, water will go there. That’s what it does. I expect there is an ulterior motive for this….project.

      • I’m afraid you are right. The shitweasel will not make any change of policy unless forced to do so. I don’t expect much from IRA Joe, but if he wanted to be helpful he could seize all putlerstan assets and cash held in America and ask Boris to do the same. Then they could stop the putinazi ruling elite from visiting their mansions in Switzerland, London, Florida etc. That would at least be a good start. US companies like Mars, McDonalds etc could be forced to withdraw from putlerstan and get compensation.
        As usual I live in a dreamworld!

        • Yes, me too. Right after the invasion of Crimea I thought the world would jump up and dismiss the ruSSo-scum from the UNSC and it never happened. Seriously, how easy and logical would that be? I still believe that simple, honest move would be more effective than anything else to date.

          • Too many rubles in Western politicians bank accounts. That’s why, all Muscovy ever receive is a few token sanctions, not crippling ones.

            • Why the hell is seemingly everyone afraid to confront the tiny bluffer? Because he says he has nukes? He can’t even sell airplanes or keep them in the air. They worry about the tiny bluffer “saving face” when he is KGB. Obama tried and tried to give him an “off ramp” instead of a broken nose. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing something…

              • I have a feeling that the West are scared of turning Muscovy towards China. Which is crazy, China need Muscovy like a hole in the head. In fact if the West destroy the economy of Russia, they will become China’s lapdog, and China won’t look on them as any equal partner at all.

    • I have drunk tap water in a lot of areas of Ukraine without any ill effects, sometimes tastes a bit rusty due to the pipes but thats all I’ve ever noticed.

      • I don’t know of any Ukrainians who drink tap water! In the villages, yes of course; they have clean wells, but not the cities. Some lead pipes still remain, plus it has to be heavily chlorinated to kill off the bugs. That said, official UK govt advice is not to drink Ukrainian or Georgian tap water. Since it comes straight off the mountains it’s very safe in Georgia in my opinion. I drink loads of it and no problems touch wood.

  3. We always speak of mafia land creating cesspools of the areas they control but how can you create one without water? Certainly, mafia land is creating an environmental disaster area in Crimea. Ukraine will have much work to do when it gets back in their possession.

  4. There’s progress for you, its only taken just over 6 years.

    Another one of shorty’s wank fantasies.

What is your opinion?