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Zelensky: 'Russia needs to bear full responsibility for ecocide'

by Martin Fornusek June 8, 2023 11:57 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the world's environmental protection community on the issue of Russia's ecocide through the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on June 8, 2023. (Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine)
This audio is created with AI assistance

In a June 8 address to the world's environmental protection community, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia needs to bear full responsibility for the ecocide it caused through the Kakhovka dam destruction.

He emphasized that the ongoing disaster is a deliberate, man-made ecocide, aggravated by ongoing Russian attacks against evacuating civilians.

The dam's demolition destroyed lives in more than 30 settlements, cutting off access to drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people, according to Zelensky.

The flooding will lead to water pollution, soil pollution, and the mass dying of fauna and flora. The effects will not be limited to Ukraine, as toxic material carried by the river will reach the Black Sea as well.

As the first order of action, the international community must save as many people as possible.

Though admitting assistance from international organizations in the government-controlled territories, Zelensky criticized them for not helping victims in the occupied territories.

Earlier today, Foreign Ministry said that the UN would send its personnel to the occupied left bank of the Dnipro River once Russia guarantees safe passage.

As a second point, Ukraine will create an Expert Group that will consolidate international efforts to bring Russia to full responsibility for the ecocide.

Third, the global community must avert long-lasting environmental damage which can be caused by the dam breach.

Russian forces destroyed the Kakhovka dam on June 6, causing a large-scale environmental and humanitarian disaster.

Earlier on June 8, Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said that 600 square kilometers of the oblast had gone underwater. Some 2,339 people, including 120 children, were evacuated from the flooded areas of Kherson Oblast by June 8, 8:45 p.m. local time.

Satellite images show massive flooding of Ukraine’s south
Satellite images shared by Planet Labs show the massive extent of the damage caused by the breach of the Kakhovka dam on June 6.
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