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Zelenskyy calls on world to punish Putin for ecocide: Lives broken, ecosystems destroyed

Thursday, 8 June 2023, 22:25
Zelenskyy calls on world to punish Putin for ecocide: Lives broken, ecosystems destroyed

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has addressed representatives of the international environmental community and called on them to help Ukraine overcome the consequences of the Russians’ destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) and flooding in the south of Ukraine. 

Source: President’s Office

Quote: "This Russian crime of ecocide is the largest in Europe in decades, but apparently, the Russian occupiers have decided to further aggravate its consequences. In the occupied part of the territory, where about a dozen settlements are flooded, no evacuation is being carried out at all. People have been staying on rooftops, trapped in water for two days, without drinking water, without food or medical care. We do not know the number of dead and injured yet.


Literally every hour, we are establishing more and more details about the damage Russia has caused by this disaster. In more than thirty settlements, life is ruined. For hundreds of thousands of people in many towns and villages, access to drinking water has been greatly impeded. 

Due to the destruction of the dam, fuel depots, warehouses containing chemicals, warehouses containing fertilisers, and animal burial grounds, including at least two "anthrax burials" - both in the temporarily occupied territory - have been flooded. We do not know what has happened to them now. Where there was no centralised sewage system, sewage is already in the water that covers everything…

The number of ecosystems that have been destroyed or pushed to the brink of extinction by this Russian terrorist act is already in the thousands. More than fifty thousand hectares of forests have been flooded, and at least half of them will die. Tens of thousands of birds and at least twenty thousand wild animals are at risk of death. Obviously, the Kakhovka reservoir has been turned into a huge graveyard for millions of living beings."

Details: Zelenskyy emphasised that the situation "is extremely difficult" and that this is not a natural disaster or a manifestation of the climate crisis, "this disaster is Putin" and his orders. The president explained that Russia has a direct interest in this catastrophe. 

The president noted that so far there is no answer to how all this can be overcome.

Ukraine will continue to do everything possible to save as many people as possible, and it needs the support of the world in this.

International organisations have begun to help in the territory controlled by Kyiv, but pressure also needs to be put on them to help in the occupied territory, Zelenskyy said.

Quote: "Just as we have established special Expert Groups to promote sanctions and security guarantees for Ukraine, so we are establishing an Expert Group that will primarily focus on consolidating the world so that Russia is fully responsible for the ecocide and so that our country is not left alone with this tragedy - the ecocide. 

I am sure that with sufficient leadership in the world, the appropriate tools can be created."

Details: Zelenskyy added that only joint efforts can ensure that the flooded area does not become a desert, a ruin or a dead zone after this disaster. 

He stressed that pollution and poison from the flood zone are rapidly entering the groundwater, poisoning rivers, and from there entering the Black Sea basin: "That is, there is no destruction of nature ‘somewhere out there’ – everything in the world is highly interconnected."

The president therefore called on representatives of the global environmental community to spread the truth about the Russian ecocide and to urge countries and international organisations to act.

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