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  • Ruslan Strilets: The blowing up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam is the worst act of ecocide that russia has committed since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine

    The blowing up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam is the biggest act of ecocide that has been committed by russia since the start of its all-out invasion of Ukraine. This was stated by Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, during an online briefing for Ukrainian and foreign media.

    According to the Minister, the blasting of the Kakhovka HPP dam will have catastrophic consequences:

    At least 150 tonnes of motor oil would be released into the Dnipro River as a result of the blow-up, with the risk of further leakage of even more. The oil slick could potentially be "heading" to the Black Sea;

    • a certain amount of destruction waste generated as a result of russia's actions may also reach the Black Sea;
    • more than 80 settlements are in the zone of possible flooding. The dam of the Kakhovka Hydropower Plant holds a volume of about 18 cubic kilometres of water;
    • 333 species of animals and plants with different conservation statuses and 25 types of habitats are under threat of extinction;
    • Ukraine may lose some ecosystems forever. In particular, in the Nizhniodniprovsky, Velykyi Luh, Kamianska Sich, and Sviatoslav's Biloberezhzhia National Parks;
    • For example, the Nizhniodniprovsky National Park is more than 80,000 hectares of protected land with rare species of biodiversity. There are Ramsar sites here, as well as areas that are part of the European Emerald Network, i.e. recognised as the most valuable and protected by European legislation;
    • a total of 9 sites of the Emerald Network (Dnipro-Bug Estuary, Black Sea Biosphere Reserve, Oleshky Sands) and 5 Ramsar sites are potentially in the affected area;
    • by blowing up the dam at the Kakhovka HPP, the occupiers destroyed the possibility of supplying Dnipro water to Crimea. The level of the reservoir is so critical that water simply will not get there through the North Crimean Canal.

    "At a meeting of the State Commission on Technogenic and Environmental Safety and Emergencies, the Prime Minister set tasks for all relevant agencies to eliminate the consequences. In particular, one of the tasks facing the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is to calculate, together with the State Environmental Inspectorate, all the damage that may be caused or has already been caused by the actions of the russian federation. They should be included in the general list of war crimes against the environment that russia is committing on our land today," said Ruslan Strilets.

    According to him, water resources have been damaged by an estimated UAH 2 billion. The State Environmental Inspectorate still has to calculate the damage to soils, nature reserves, biodiversity, forests and other natural resources. As the situation is further analysed, this amount will grow.