NGOs International Amnesty (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the attack on the dam of the hydroelectric plant of Kakhovkain it dnieper riverin Khersonand warned by the humanitarian and environmental disaster that this will trigger.
“We are deeply concerned about the safety of hundreds of people affected by the destruction of the Kajovka hydroelectric power station dam, in the Kherson region, Ukraine, and the great environmental devastation that the floods will cause,” lamented the director of the Environment. and Human Rights of HRW, Richard Pearshouse.
Since the attack, early this Tuesday, the water level has already risen more than 10 meters in nearby towns and has forced the evacuation of more than 17,000 residents.
“So far, 24 towns in Ukraine have been flooded. The Interior Ministry has already evacuated about a thousand people. The evacuation continues,” commented the head of the Ukrainian portfolio, Igor Klymenko, hours after the explosion, while the Ukrainian prosecutor general, Andrii Kostin, later updated that “more than 40,000 people could be in flooded areas and the authorities evacuate more than 17,000 people”.
Zelensky added that “Between 35 and 70 cities will be flooded” in the coming days.
In this regard, Pearshouse requested the collaboration of both the kyiv and Moscow authorities in the mobilization of civilians from affected areas to safe zones and that they also guarantee medical and humanitarian care to those who need it.
AI Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, joined this demand and urged the international community to deepen its efforts to bring those responsible for this “enormous humanitarian disaster” to justice and that they do not go unpunished.
“The norms of Humanitarian Law specifically protect dams due to the dangers that its destruction represents for the civilian population”, he said and stressed that this attack represents a “catastrophe that endangers life, safety and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people.
As a result of this “human and environmental disaster”, the population will be “deprived of the supply of drinking water, including in the main cities and in the Crimean peninsula, occupied by Russia”, he continued.
Another aspect pointed out by the experts is the effect that this destruction has on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plantthe largest in Europe.
Due to its location on the Dnieper River, the Kakhovka plant supplies water to Crimea and to the power plant, where it has a key role in the cooling of your facilities. However, the “serious damage” to the dam has caused a “significant reduction” of water stored in the reservoirwarned the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Raphael Grossi.
Finally, Struthers demanded a “independent” and “impartial” investigation about what happened. “We reiterate our call for all those allegedly responsible for attacks, war crimes and other crimes under International Law to be brought before Justice in fair trials, so that victims and survivors receive full reparation,” he concluded.
The declarations of the NGOs were added to the multiple condemnations of the international community, which repudiated this advance by Russia.
“The destruction of the Kajovka dam is a abominable act. Intentionally attacking exclusively civilian infrastructure is a war crime”, sentenced the British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverleywhich was followed by the message from the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg: “The destruction of the dam endangers thousands of civilians and causes serious environmental damage. Is about an outrageous act that once again demonstrates the brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine”.
For his part, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, lamented that “today’s tragedy is one more example of the horrible price of war for people. The floodgates of suffering have overflowed for over a year. this must end” and the Security Council defined an emergency meeting for this same Tuesday, while none of the parties involved in the war takes credit for what happened and, instead, targets their opponent.
(With information from Europa Press)
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Zelensky accused Russia of sabotage and said that “the world must react” after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam
NATO said the destruction of the Kherson dam “demonstrates the brutality of Russia’s war” in Ukraine