KIEV, April 25 Ukraine's national power company
said on Tuesday it had cut electricity to parts of an eastern
region controlled by pro-Russian separatists because they had
run up large debts.
There was no immediate reaction from political leaders in
Luhansk, who are caught up in a tense stand-off with Ukraine's
government - part of a wider confrontation between Moscow and
Kiev's Western backers.
"This night, the power supply to the temporary occupied
territory of Luhansk region was completely halted," Vsevolod
Kovalchuk, head of the power distributor Ukrenergo, said on
Luhansk media quoted an energy official saying the region,
which is close to the Russian border, had been prepared for the
suspension and would connect to other sources.
Ukraine cut gas supplies to Luhansk in 2015, also blaming
unpaid debts, and imposed a trade blockade on the occupied
regions in March.
Kiev has accused the area of accumulating 2.6 billion
hryvnias ($97.67 million) in unpaid electricity charges.
Three years after Moscow annexed the Crimean region,
tensions between Ukraine and separatists in the Russian-held
eastern part of the country remain high and a 2015 ceasefire is
An American paramedic working for European security watchdog
OSCE's monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine was killed and two
others injured on Sunday when their vehicle struck a mine near
small village of Pryshyb, closed to Luhansk.
($1 = 26.6200 hryvnias)
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Andrew Heavens)