The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, denounced on Tuesday the “brutality” of the war that Russia is conducting in Ukraine, after the destruction of a hydroelectric dam which led to the evacuation of civilians.
“The destruction of the Kajovka dam today endangers thousands of civilians and causes serious environmental damage. This is a scandalous act, which once again demonstrates the brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”, Stoltenberg pointed out on Twitter.
Shortly before, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, had assured in a tweet that Russia will be held accountable for the destruction of the dam.
“I am shocked by the unprecedented attack to the Kakhovka dam. The destruction of civilian infrastructure it is clearly a war crimeand we will make Russia and its proxies be accountable“, he pointed.
The mayor of the municipality of Nova Kajovka, Vladimir Leontiev, stated on the Telegram network that “multiple attacks hit the Kajovka dam” and that these actions caused a “uncontrollable water flow”.
The water from that dam is used to cool the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is currently under the control of Russian troops.
Russia and Ukraine accused each other on Tuesday of the partial destruction of the dam, an act that it caused flooding of nearby towns and evacuation of residents.
Ukraine called Russia “terrorist statebefore the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The attack on the Kajovka dam “caused major civilian evacuations and serious ecological damage,” declared the Ukrainian representative Anton Korinevich before the highest jurisdiction of the UN. “Russia’s actions are the actions of a terrorist state, of an aggressor”, he added.
Both the Kakhovka dam and the hydroelectric power station were taken over by Russian troops at the start of the invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022.
The dam, on the Dnieper River and 150 km from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, is now on the front line between Moscow-controlled regions and the rest of Ukraine, just as Kiev’s troops are constantly testing the Russian defenses facing a major counteroffensive.
The dam’s levee, made of concrete and earth, It is 16 meters high and 3,273 meters long. It is one of the largest infrastructures of its kind in Ukraine.
The power of the hydroelectric plant is 334.8 megawatts, according to the Ukrainian operator, Ukrgidroenergo.
Built in 1956 during Soviet times, the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam allows water to be sent to the North Crimean canal, which starts in southern Ukraine and crosses the entire Crimean peninsula, occupied and annexed by Moscow since 2014.
Upstream of the structure is the Kakhovka Reservoir, an artificial water reservoir formed on the Dnieper River, 240 km long and up to 23 km wide.
The destruction of the dam could cause significant difficulties in the water supply of Crimea, a territory that kyiv wants to recover.
(With information from AFP)
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