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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Fleet In Sevastopol Faces Cutoff




SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine -- Russian sailors stationed in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Sevastopol might soon find themselves living like their World War II predecessors f or at least cooking like them.


Russia's Black Sea fleet command recently has ordered its units to take camp stoves out of warehouses where some have been stored since the late 1940s, to use them for cooking food, fleet officials said Monday.


The order wasn't meant to create wartime conditions for the sailors to better practice their skills. It came in response to persistent warnings from Sevastopol's government that it would cut off electricity and heat to its debtors.


Russia rents naval bases in Sevastopol, a mostly ethnic Russian city on the Crimean Peninsula, under a 1996 deal on dividing the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol's status f which Russian nationalists say should belong to Russia f has spoiled relations between the two since the 1991 Soviet collapse.


The once-powerful fleet, which Russia's government can no longer finance in full, has turned into Sevastopol's largest debtor, owing more than 10.6 million hryvnas ($3 million) for electricity, water and heat, city authorities say.