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Against the background of freshwater shortage in Crimea, Russia will mainly try provide it to the military and government infrastructure, back-shelving households.

That's according to Ihor Yaremenko, Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, who spoke with Obozrevatel.

"Ninety percent of water that had been flowing to Crimea before the war started was used for industrial and agricultural purposes. At the same time, this allowed maintaining adequate volumes of drinking water and groundwater in stock, to make sure it doesn't go saline. Now this water is non-available for agriculture. That is, it's used on both fronts," he explained.

According to Yaremenko, this was including due to a buildup of Russia's military presence in the occupied Crimea, restoration of military bases, as well as the deployment of new army groupings and weapons, which requires additional water resources.

"I think Russia will redirect all water resources as much as possible to provide it to privileged categories – the military, leadership of the occupation authorities, etc. Prime Minister Medvedev once told ordinary people, '[There's no money but] you hold on there'," Yaremenko added.

Russia has never valued regular citizens so their lives "cost absolutely nothing" to them, and it will also be the case with the occupied Crimea.

Read alsoRussian invaders to "sue" Ukraine for cutting water supplies to occupied Crimea – rights group"They care about water supplies to military bases. But talking about water for ordinary homes of ordinary residents of Simferopol or Sevastopol – who cares?" summed up the official.

Water shortage in Crimea: Background

  • Prior to the occupation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine used to cover up to 85% of the peninsula's demand for freshwater through the North Crimean Canal.
  • After Russia grabbed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Ukraine severed water supplies there.
  • In 2020, the situation with the availability of water in Crimea reached a critical level over droughts and shallowing of reservoirs. The occupying authorities limited the use of water in many towns and villages.
  • The Ukrainian authorities claim the resumption of water supplies to Crimea would be possible only if Russia ceases its occupation of the peninsula.
  • At the same time, experts say it is technically impossible to restore water delivery to Crimea through the North Crimean Canal since it has become completely unusable over the past years.