The lack of water in Crimea may lead to a new military aggression by Russia against Ukraine. Analystshe Jamestown Foundation believes that the water situation in Crimea has reached a critical level, which might prompt Moscow to seize more Ukrainian territories.
Goble writes – the Crimea has long endured water shortages now intensified by frequent winters with little-to-no rain or snow. According to officials in Moscow, Crimea has seen its reserves of freshwater slump by 60% and there could be no water by this August in the peninsula.
The situation poses a grave health crisis in Crimea and this could prompt Russia to seize more Ukrainian territories to gain access to freshwater supplies as Kiev has bluntly rejected selling water to Russia.
Until the Russian annexation of Crimea, 85% of the drinking water for the Crimean residents was supplied via the North Crimean Canal, from the Dnieper River. However, Ukraine abruptly terminated the supplies, forcing Moscow to rely on groundwater and reservoirs.
Ukrainian experts state that the water deficiency in Crimea is a direct result of the Russian invasion. If it ends (the Russian occupation) the water crisis will end too, which is also the official position of Ukraine,”
The groundwater levels in much of Crimea have decreased dramatically as the region faces the prospect of water shortages for both agriculture as well as the resident population.
Not only is Crimea running out of water, but experts claim that Russia has often played up this issue in order to pressurize Ukraine via Europe. Indeed, the expert notes, what Moscow says about water for Crimea has matched the Russin attempts to extend its control into other parts of Ukraine.
When Russia overran Ukrainian territory in 2014, they had planned to capture a much larger portion of the nation than they were able to, including the places from which Crimea had historically obtained its water. Will the current “hysteria” in Crimea about water shortage prompt the Russians to move against Ukraine?
Ukraine is unlikely to change its position on Crimea and Russian occupation. That is because there is a looming water shortage in Ukraine itself, and supplying water to the Russian occupation would only increase the matter, besides Kiev looks determined to stand its ground firm.
That raises the probability that Russia may use the military option and drive northward into Ukraine to seize full control of water for Crimea before a humanitarian disaster hits the region this summer.
he Jamestown Foundation