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General Staff: Russia only evacuating Russian passport-holders from flooded settlements in occupied Kherson Oblast

by Asami Terajima June 10, 2023 11:45 AM 2 min read
Satellite images of Russian-occupied Oleshky in Kherson Oblast before and after the Kakhovka dam's demolition carried out by Russian forces on June 6, 2023. (Source: Planet Labs PBC)
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Russia is only evacuating Russian passport-holders from the flooded areas in the occupied parts of the southern Kherson Oblast, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on June 10.

Throughout the Russian occupation, Ukrainians who stayed behind have been threatened by Russian proxy authorities to obtain a Russian passport, forcing many to change citizenship for their own or their family's safety.

Now, after blowing up the major Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine and flooding dozens of settlements on both banks of the giant Dnipro River, the proxy authorities "continue to use" the man-made disaster in its favor, the General Staff said.

The General Staff also reported that Russia is forcibly evicting civilians from their homes that survived in the flood-hit occupied settlements to house Russian servicemen.

"Russian occupiers continue to use the consequences of their crime for their own purposes," the June 10 Facebook post said.

Familiy members of residents stuck in flooded occupied settlements in Kherson Oblast told the Kyiv Independent that Russian forces prevented people from from fleeing or helping others.

The Financial Times reported, citing residents and volunteers on the occupied east bank of the Dnipro River, that Russian soldiers were not allowing evacuation for two days following Russia's blow-up of the Kakhovka dam.

There is no reliable data on civilian casualties in the occupied east bank of Kherson Oblast.

Russian occupational authorities in Kherson Oblast also claimed that they would transfer children from flood-hit settlements to another territory in the region or occupied Crimea to attend a holiday camp.

The transfer of children by a party of the conflict is banned under International Humanitarian Law. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in March issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia or occupied Ukrainian territories.  

‘They are destroying us.’ People plea to escape flooded Russian-occupied areas
Editor’s note: For this story, we spoke to people living or having family in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. For their safety, they are identified by first name only. After destroying the Nova Kakhovka dam and stranding thousands of Ukrainians in the catastrophic flood zone, Russians prevent…
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