State of emergency declared in Crimea after activists ‘blow up’ electricity pylons

Crimea left without power after power pylons blown up in what appears to be the latest attempt to enforce an economic blockade on the region which was annexed by Russia in March 2014

Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in Crimea after nearly two million people on the peninsular were left without power by the destruction of two pylons carrying electricity from Ukraine.

The Russian Energy Ministry did not say what had caused the outages, but Russian media reported that two pylons in the Kherson region of Ukraine north of Crimea had been blown up by Ukrainian nationalists.

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Russia Plans Second Big Military Base Near Ukrainian Border

BOGUCHAR, Russia (Reuters) – Russia is planning a second major military base near the border with Ukraine, where NATO accuses Russian troops of helping pro-Moscow separatists fight Kiev’s forces.

The new base will house 5,000 soldiers and heavy weaponry, according to public documents and people working at the site.

It is further east than one under construction in Belgorod region reported by Reuters earlier this month but still close to the border with separatist-held parts of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, where there has been heavy fighting. Continue reading

Russia’s Supersonic Response to US Missiles in Europe

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Russia’s Ministry of Defense apparently plans to deploy Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range strategic bombers to Crimea to boost Russia’s defense capabilities in the region in response to the US’ military buildup in Eastern Europe, particularly the installment of the Aegis missile defense system in Romania.

The Russian defense agency is expected to receive six modernized long-range Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber-missile carriers by the end of 2015 but the exact date of the delivery to the Black Sea peninsula has not been made public. Continue reading