Balkans freeze as Russia cuts gas supply

SOFIA, Bulgaria: Bulgarian school children bundled in wool coats sang songs to keep warm in their bitterly cold classroom. Bosnians drove hours to snap up electric heaters. And in Serbia, millions woke up to the Eastern Orthodox Christmas under the threat of winter hardship.

Russia’s decision to cut gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine on Wednesday hit the Balkans hard as a deep freeze descended on much of the region.

Tens of thousands of households were left without heat because of a pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has left more than a dozen countries with dwindling energy supplies in the coldest months of the year.

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