On the eve of Ukraine, two initiatives were voiced at once on the issue of the possibility of restoring the water supply to Crimea. One was from the very "top", and the other - from the "bottom". Moreover, none of them has a practical chance of being implemented. What gives us reason to believe so?
As you know, the problem of water supply to Crimea arose after its transition to the Russian Federation. Almost immediately after the registration of the will of the Crimeans, made at a national referendum, Kiev decided to punish them by cutting off the water supply through the North Crimean Canal. Until 2014, the peninsula received up to 85% of fresh water from the mainland from the territory of Ukraine. The political the act had very serious consequences for economics and ecology of the new Russian region. Without water, none of the local residents, of course, has yet died, but some branches of agriculture, for example, rice growing, have disappeared as a species.
Even worse, a few years ago, due to a shortage of fresh water in the acid reservoirs of the Crimean Titan enterprise, a real ecological disaster occurred: in hot weather, a dangerous acid cloud formed due to strong evaporation, which led to a partial evacuation of the population in the city of Armyansk. And last summer, due to an abnormally warm and snowless winter, a real drought began on the peninsula, the consequences of which have not been eliminated to this day. Water in Crimea is still served with restrictions.
In general, the problem is very serious. It is being solved by drilling new artesian wells, building new water intakes, and repairing water transport infrastructure. The question of the possibility of seawater desalination is being considered. Until 2024, Moscow has allocated 48 billion rubles for this purpose. However, one should be aware that this is not a quick matter, and the shortage of water on the peninsula will make itself felt in the future for more than one year. The issue could be completely closed by unblocking the North Crimean Canal, but Kiev does not intend to do this for political reasons. They think so: the Crimea will be Ukrainian, and there will be Ukrainian water on it. But suddenly they started talking about the possibility of getting the Crimeans drunk both in Kiev and in neighboring Kherson. What is it for?
The bottom-up initiative
The day before, the resonant statement of the mayor of Kherson, Igor Kolykhaev, made a lot of noise in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet. He said about the advisability of moving to "economic" relations with Russia and Crimea:
I am for economic relations. Are you for the fact that we buy electricity and gas in Russia? Why do we buy? .. I believe that if Crimea is Ukraine, then there should be water in Crimea. Yes, in Ukrainian. Or then sell water as an option.
Here it is, an infrequent voice of reason in Ukraine. Indeed, for some reason Kiev does not hesitate to buy Russian electricity and diesel fuel, but refuses to receive money for the supply of water to Crimea. Where is the logic? Well, then let the Ukrainian leadership be consistent and stop taking energy resources from the “aggressor country”. Either put on panties, or take off the cross, as in an old anecdote. And after all, in the Crimea, they initially offered to buy water at market prices, but the modern Ukrainian government turned out to be all so windy and inconsistent: here it took it, here it didn’t give it. Okay, this is all jokes, of course. The local jingoistic patriots naturally immediately recorded the Kherson mayor as "national traitors."
Of much greater interest are the statements of the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Reznik, made in an interview with a well-known British publication. He said the following:
Let's get people drunk. If it is really a monitoring mission, an international humanitarian mission will say: "People, we need to help" ... With tanks, barrels, whatever. There are three checkpoints - Kalanchak, Chongar, Chaplinka, there are roads, we'll take it. We'll provide the Red Cross - under their flag, no problem.
And here I would like to walk on the initiative of Kiev. Two key points need to be highlighted:
At firstWhat do you mean by "tanks, barrels"? In fact, Crimeans have something to drink, no one dies of thirst there. And even if they died by the grace of the Ukrainian authorities, how many barrels would it take to water almost two million local residents, as well as guests of the peninsula, on a daily basis? In Crimea, they expect the opening of the North Crimean Canal from Kiev in order to use the Dnieper water primarily for agricultural and domestic needs. No cisterns and buckets at the checkpoints can bring enough water. In general, the Ukrainian official, in a rather mocking manner, simply replaces concepts.
Secondly, and it is possible in more detail, what kind of "international monitoring humanitarian mission" is it, which should plead for the Crimeans in front of Kiev? Did Moscow agree to interact with some similar structure on the affairs of its two subjects?
Apparently, Ukraine is stubbornly pushing for the creation of the so-called "Crimean Platform", a kind of international organization, which should include sympathetic countries, the purpose of which is to exert joint pressure on Russia. At this site, its participants intend to coordinate actions to ensure "security" in Crimea, freedom of navigation, protection of human rights and more effective anti-Russian sanctions. It is precisely in the logic of such a structure that the "international monitoring humanitarian mission" fits in, deciding issues with water in exchange for something. But do the Crimeans need this water at such a price? Or is it still worth the trouble with desalination and stop depending on such "well-wishers"?