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A trial against Russia due to the Kakhovka Dam destruction may be launched at the International Criminal Court (ICC) if evidence emerges on concrete individuals involved, Greenpeace legal advisor Daniel Simons said on June 13.
"There is an active campaign to recognize 'ecocide' as an international crime, but the international community has not yet reached an agreement on this issue," Simons commented.
"However, Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute of the ICC qualifies as a crime the intentional attack that causes extensive, lasting, and serious damage to the surrounding natural environment, which will be clearly excessive in comparison with concrete and immediately expected general military advantage," he explained.
Simons said a war crimes trial may therefore be opened against specific individuals who ordered the dam's destruction, intentionally inflicting damage to the environment.
The Kakhovka Dam collapsed on June 6, sparking a humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities say the dam was blown up by Russian forces to prevent a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The breach caused the draining of the Kakhovka Reservoir and massive floods along the banks of the Dnipro River, particularly in Kherson Oblast.
The flooding cost the lives of at least 10 people and 42 are considered missing.
In Kherson Oblast, 2,743 residents have been evacuated and 45 settlements have been flooded by June 12, while in Mykolaiv Oblast, 31 settlements were impacted and 982 people have been evacuated.
In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, almost 165,000 households in 32 settlements have been left without a water supply.