Russian utility company cuts power to border guards : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Russian utility company cuts power to border guards

A Russian Border Guards command centre was blacked out by a utility company for several hours in an attempt to force the post to pay its bill.

The headquarters in the southern city of Stavropol is responsible for Russia's borders in the troubled North Caucasus region, where it is fighting a war against separatists guerrillas in the rebellious region of Chechnya.

Border Guards spokesman, Col Anatoly Lesnikh, says that the power was cut off by a local division of the nation's power utility, Unified Energy Systems.

The headquarters kept contact with remote border posts by running generators.

Unified Energy Systems and its local divisions have been under pressure to collect unpaid bills, and earlier this month cut off power to a strategic missile base.

The base sent soldiers to seize a switching station and turn the power back on.

The company has trouble collecting from many state-run installations, such as the military bases, because those operations are themselves underfunded. Even when it does collect, it's often in barter or in-kind services.

Last updated: 04:16 Thursday 28th September 2000.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 28, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ