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Russia's ongoing attempt to drain the Kakhovka Reservoir may leave over a million people in Ukraine without drinking water, Environmental Protection Minister Ruslan Strilets said during a press briefing on Feb. 17.
"Lowering the level below 12 meters will lead to an ecological disaster since we can lose a lot of biodiversity," he said, adding that it also puts the functioning of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant's turbine capacitors and safety systems at risk.
Currently, the water level in the reservoir is 13.83 meters against the standard 16 meters. Prior to that, informed Strilets, the level decreased to as low as 13.6 meters.
According to Strilets, he raised the issue of the Kakhovka Reservoir during the EU Commissioner for the Environment Virginius Sinkavičius's visit to Kyiv on Feb. 17.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal urged international partners in a meeting on Feb. 14 to put the necessary pressure on Russia, or "we will face an ecological catastrophe that will have countless destructive consequences for the entire continent."