The European Union and Ukrainian leaders said on Tuesday that damage to Ukraine̵7;s Novaya Kakhovka dam, which caused massive flooding in the Kherson region, could be a potential war crime.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam today puts thousands of civilians at risk and has caused serious environmental damage.” Said At a press conference from the Bucharest Nine (B9) summit in Slovakia. “This is a disgraceful act, which demonstrates – once again – the brutality of Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
He said the damage to the dam demonstrated that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine is “completely unacceptable and a gross violation of international law.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he saw the attack as a “new dimension” in the war on Russia. While he refrained from explicitly saying that Kremlin forces had destroyed the dam, he said the comments made at an event in Berlin “fit the way Putin is waging this war”. Is”.
Scholz said that Russia had experienced “numerous setbacks” during the war and had “always concluded from this to proceed with even greater aggression against Ukraine.”
Scholz continued, “The destruction of the dam joins a number of crimes we’ve seen in Ukraine perpetrated by Russian soldiers.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Bierbock reiterated that position, saying that Russia was using the dam, which is located in the vicinity of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, as a “weapon of war”, costing many lives. putting at risk. “Only one is to blame for this environmental disaster: Russia’s criminal war of aggression on Ukraine,” Bayerbock Said,
one in joint statementEU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and the bloc’s commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, said Russia was continuing “its reckless nuclear gambit” with “desperate actions”.
“It represents a new dimension of Russian atrocities and may violate international law, particularly international humanitarian law,” the statement said.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary James tactfully calls the dam attack “a despicable act”. Add: “Intentionally attacking exclusively civilian infrastructure is a war crime.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials said Russia had bombed a Soviet-era dam that bridges Ukraine’s Dnipro River in a part of the Kherson region held by Russian troops, holding back 18 cubic kilometers of water. I went, flood Surrounding villages. The dam also supplies water to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014. The dam serves as one of three major crossings along the Dnieper.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Said The dam’s damage was “perhaps Europe’s biggest technological disaster in decades”, adding it may have been a “heinous war crime”.
Russia claimed Ukraine was responsible for the attack – which Kiev denied.
Experts indicate Moscow has much to gain from the destruction of the dam, as it seeks to slow Ukraine’s long-awaited retaliatory offensive.
“Russia has been controlling the dam … for more than a year,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Said In B9 Summit. “It is physically impossible to somehow blow it up from the outside… It was mined by the Russian occupiers. And they blew it up.”
Matt Honeycomb-Foster contributed reporting.