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Blackout hits Crimea after power lines are taken down

Power transmission lines have been taken down in the Ukrainian province of Kherson, plunging the Crimean peninsula and its two million residents into darkness.

The "Civil Blockade of Crimea", a group by indigenous Crimean Tatar people, said the power supply had been cut off after power lines were taken down in the Ukrainian province of Kherson, which borders Crimea, though it was not immediately clear whether the group was responsible. A photo provided by the group showed the a Crimean Tatar flag wrapped around the bottom of a pole.

"[The power] can not be restored," the group said in a Facebook post late on Saturday night.

The Russian news agency TASS confirmed that power transmission lines had been blown up, causing a total blackout in Crimea. Local authorities were working to connect hospitals and other vital infrastructure to reserve power stations and generators, but much of the region remains without power. An emergency response center has been set up by Crimea's energy ministry.

The blackout comes just a day after two of the four main power transmission lines to Crimea were disabled as the result of explosions, and Saturday's incident indicates that the two remaining lines have now been destroyed. Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, is home to about 2 million people.

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