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When Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine took one of the best suitable steps at that moment, which caused no condemnation among the international community. Ukraine government banned freshwater supplies to the annexed territory. At that time, Russian propaganda chose to ignore the fact in their media space, shifting public attention away from such a form of the grabbed region’s isolation, while cultivating myths about sufficient own water reserves and guaranteed supplies from mainland Russia.
In most cases, when it comes to any kind of propaganda efforts by Russia’s massive media and expert vehicle, we’re talking primarily about short-term spins, while the issue of Crimea’s isolation and degradation is protracted in time.
When the topic of the Kerch Bridge and its fragility was on top agenda, Russian propaganda created and span a temporary, short-term narrative regarding the completion of its construction, claiming that Ukraine’s allegations about the inevitable collapse of the bridge were false. But the thing is that such predictions mean years may pass before the inevitable happens.
The same goes for water supplies to Crimea. The results of their cessation are only now becoming evident, and the situation will further deteriorate. So it’s not surprising that Russian propagandists are trying out new ways of forcing Ukraine to resume them.
For example, the so-called “ex-chief prosecutor” of the occupied Crimea, now the illegitimate deputy of Russia’s illegitimate State Duma, Natalia Poklonskaya, addressed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet with a demand that the organization influence Ukraine in the matter of resuming water supplies to the peninsula. After all, Ukraine, allegedly, harms the environment and treads on the rights of the indigenous peoples of Crimea, resorting to some kind of repression!
Of course, Poklonskaya’s attempt does count, but I’m more than sure that Michelle Bachelet, who definitely is a well-educated person, was somewhat amused by the content of the appeal. After all, it’s well known fact that the canal to Crimea is an artificial structure, and it’s precisely due to freshwater supplies via this canal that the peninsula once changed its original appearance. In fact, for centuries, most of its territory was a natural desert. Meanwhile, those tearful tirades about indigenous peoples’ rights look even more ridiculous given loads of evidence of the infringement of these very rights by the occupying state, which, of ocurse, is Russia.
So what caused this passage of Natalia Poklonskaya?
Firstly, without mainland Ukraine’s freshwater, Crimea is gradually returning to its pristine state, which is pretty much a desert — and these developments were expected, too. This factor strongly undermines popular ratings of occupation authorities, even among those who still somehow supports them. This, in turn, could lead to a rise of public discontent and resistance, eventually accelerating the return of the peninsula under Ukraine’s control on the tide of people’s natural rage.
Secondly, being unable to come up with any feasible alternative for external water supplies, Russian aggressors until the last moment hoped for striking a deal with the new Ukrainian government and even organized among their sympathizers some attempts to bring the issue to top political agenda, but to no avail. Any such attempts would immediately come to naught.
Thirdly — and this is the most interesting thing — it’s not households that require external water supplies to Crimea as there’s enough own drinking water across the peninsula so far. It’s the industry, including that servicing Russia’s defense complex. Besides, Russian army bases in the area are also major freshwater consumers in demand of stable supplies.
Thus, the invaders need the Dnipro River’s water primarily to serve their military-industrial projects, as well as their military grouping that’s turned the once-attractive tourist destination into a major military base. So Poklonskaya’s letter to the UN is just a test move in the Kremlin’s new project, where Moscow is clearly utilizing all of its Western puppets to the full potential, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Italian M5S, Lega Nord, and others.
However, these convulsions on the part of the aggressor state are yet another indication that their time is running out on the peninsula, of which they are aware, themselves.