With Kherson Dam’s Destruction, Plight of Ukraine’s People Will Only Get Worse, Emergency Relief Coordinator Warns Security Council
The destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam in Kherson — the most significant incident of damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine — will have grave and far-reaching consequences for thousands of people in southern Ukraine, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator warned the Security Council today, as he updated the 15-member organ on the Organization’s response efforts.
Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator — stressing that immediate humanitarian needs are expected to rise as floodwaters move — asserted: “Today’s news means the plight of the people in Ukraine is set to get even worse.” So far, Ukrainian authorities have reported that at least 40 settlements in Kherson are flooded partially, if not fully. Such sustained flooding will disrupt farming activities and damage both livestock and fisheries — “a massive blow” to an already significantly damaged food production sector. Fast-moving water will also shift projectiles to areas previously assessed as safe, thereby placing people in in further and unpredictable danger from mine and explosive ordinance contamination. Moreover, the dam’s destruction may negatively affect electricity generation and in turn the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant downstream.
In response, the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have already stepped up their operations to address the impacts, including by providing urgent assistance to over 16,000 affected people. Multidisciplinary mobile teams have been deployed to train and bus stations across Kherson oblast as cities in the west are preparing to receive evacuees. For its part, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is closely monitoring the situation at Zaporizhzhia and has reported no immediate threat. While the United Nations has no access to independent information on the circumstances leading to the dam’s destruction, international law is nevertheless very clear: installations containing dangerous forces must receive special protection precisely because of their destruction’s impacts on civilian populations.
Reaching all those who have been affected will not be easy nor straightforward, he underlined. Nevertheless, the United Nations is ready to do everything it can. “The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary resilience — our urgent humanitarian task is to continue to help them to survive and then to be safe and then to get a future,” he stressed.
In the ensuing debate, many speakers deplored the dam’s destruction as they underlined its humanitarian and environmental impacts, with some voicing particular concern over the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — the largest nuclear power station in Europe. Underscoring the need for accountability, they also reiterated their call on the Russian Federation to completely, immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
The representative of Mozambique warned of the looming environmental disaster’s global repercussions — particularly on populations, ecosystems and an already strained global food supply chain. The deliberate weaponization and targeting of civilian infrastructure in times of war is a violation of international humanitarian law, he underlined, emphasizing that parties must be held accountable for these acts.
Since evacuation efforts in the Dnipro River’s downstream areas are the priority, Brazil’s delegate urged parties to facilitate access for rescue teams and humanitarian workers. Moreover, parties must refrain from any actions that could disrupt the water supply used to cool the Zaporizhzhia plant’s reactors. The very possibility that they can be affected “is a reminder of how close we may be to nuclear catastrophe”, he observed.
Building on that call, the representative of China highlighted that no one is immune in the event of a nuclear disaster. In that regard, there must be maximum restraint to avoid any escalation and miscalculation. “As the flames of war rage on, it will only bring about greater suffering and more disasters, creating more risks that are grave and impossible to predict,” he cautioned, urging parties to resume peace talks as soon as possible.
France’s delegate, however, pointed out that none of this would have occurred if the Russian Federation had not invaded Ukraine and if it had upheld the Charter of the United Nations. The only way to avoid other disasters of this kind is if Moscow withdraws its armed forms. More so, that Government will have to be held accountable for the crimes it committed in Ukraine and pay for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction, he declared.
Adding to that, the representative of the United Kingdom spotlighted Moscow’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure time and time again throughout its war. This “truly abhorrent act” is just the latest of many tragic consequences, he stressed, asserting: “If Russia proves to be responsible, it would be a new low in its conduct of this brutal war.”
Addressing the West directly, the Russian Federation’s representative said that “hiding behind the dysfunctional Kyiv regime will not work”, as Moscow “understand[s] perfectly well who actually plans, prepares and authorizes sabotage of this magnitude”. It was Kyiv — with a sense of complete impunity and the encouragement of Western curators — who committed an unthinkable crime to inflict maximum humanitarian damage, he asserted. The use of such terrorist methods has become that State’s official tactic.
Countering that, the representative of Ukraine pointed out that it is physically impossible to blow up the dam from the outside through shelling. As such, it is the Russian Federation — having controlled the dam for more than a year — who planned a terrorist attack against Ukrainian critical infrastructure well in advance. That State will have to compensate for all the consequences of its crime on people, infrastructure and the environment, he underscored, as he urged the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international organizations to send humanitarian assistance.
The meeting began at 4:02 p.m. and ended at 5:23 p.m.
MARTIN GRIFFITHS, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, reported that the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam is one of the most significant incidents of damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. While the catastrophe’s sheer magnitude will only become fully realized in the coming days, it is already clear that it will have grave and far-reaching consequences for thousands of people in southern Ukraine, he asserted. Ukrainian authorities have reported that at least 40 settlements in Kherson are already flooded or partially flooded, a number which is expected to rise. Severe impact is also expected in Russian-controlled areas where humanitarians are still struggling to gain access.
The United Nations and humanitarian organizations have already stepped up their operations to address the impacts, he said. Currently, an emergency response is under way to provide urgent assistance to over 16,000 affected people with drinking water, cash assistance and psychosocial support — a complement to the Ukrainian Government’s response. Multidisciplinary mobile teams have been deployed to train and bus stations across Kherson oblast as cities in the west are preparing to receive evacuees.
“Today’s news means the plight of the people in Ukraine is set to get even worse,” he warned, stressing that immediate humanitarian needs are expected to grow as floodwaters move. Sustained flooding will disrupt farming activities, damage livestock and fisheries and bring widespread longer-term consequences — “a massive blow” to an already significantly damaged food production sector. With at least 30 per cent of Ukraine’s territory mine-contaminated and Khersonska oblast the most affected, people are in further and unpredictable danger from mine and explosive ordinance contamination as fast-moving water shifts projectiles to areas previously assessed as safe. Moreover, the dam’s destruction may negatively affect electricity generation and in turn the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant downstream. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is closely monitoring the situation and no immediate threat has been reported so far, he noted.
While the United Nations has no access to independent information on the circumstances that led to the dam’s destruction, international law is very clear: installations containing dangerous forces must receive special protection precisely because their destruction can cause severe loss for the civilian population. In that regard, constant care must be taken to spare civilians and civilian infrastructure throughout all types of military operations. The damage caused from the dam’s destruction, he pointed out, means that life will become intolerably harder for those already suffering from the conflict. The consequences of not being able to deliver assistance to the millions affected by flooding are potentially catastrophic, he added.
“We stand ready to do everything we can to ensure we reach all those who have been affected and need assistance,” he pledged, underlining: “This won’t be easy nor straightforward.” The United Nations is operationally ready to move at any time with interagency convoys and aid personnel into Russian-controlled areas. “The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary resilience — our urgent humanitarian task is to continue to help them to survive and then to be safe and then to get a future,” he said.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) said that, on 6 June, Kyiv committed an unthinkable crime — undermining the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station. Settlements have been flooded; thousands of people are in need of evacuation; and colossal damage has been done to the agriculture of the region. He emphasized that in 2022, the Ukrainian Armed Forces leadership had declared its readiness to blow up this dam to gain a military advantage. “Major General Kovalchuk considered flooding the river,” he said, echoing the Washington Post. He expressed regret that his Government’s calls to the Secretary-General to prevent this crime were not heeded. “This time, the Kiev regime, sensing its complete impunity and with the encouragement of Western curators, decided to carry out its terrorist plan,” he asserted.
Kyiv’s sabotage aimed at a critical infrastructure facility can be classified as a war crime or an act of terrorism, as attacks on objects containing dangerous forces are expressly prohibited by international humanitarian law. He underscored that one of the goals of today’s attack is to inflict maximum humanitarian damage on the populations of vast territories. Meanwhile, the Kyiv authorities significantly increased the discharge of water from the Dnepropetrovsk Hydroelectric Power Station, leading to even greater flooding of the territories. This indicates that this sabotage was planned in advance to cause the most severe repercussions for the population of the region.
The use of terrorist methods has become the official tactic of Kyiv, he said, pointing, inter alia, to the undermining of the Crimean Bridge or the murders of Daria Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky. To the West, he said: “Hiding behind the dysfunctional Kyiv regime will not work” as Moscow “understand[s] perfectly well who actually plans, prepares and authorizes sabotage of this magnitude.” He expressed bewilderment that the United Nations Secretariat fails to condemn the attacks of the Kyiv “regime”.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) observed that “you don’t need to be a scientist” to understand the long-term ecological devastation of the dam’s destruction and how it will impact Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Also pointing out that it will affect the cooling procedures at the Zaporizhzhia plant, he said that while the United Nations has not established that the Russian Federation is responsible for this event, it is clearly yet another catastrophic consequence of that country’s aggression. Drawing attention to its propaganda war, he noted that Council members were repeatedly given false narratives, including that the Russian Federation had no intention to attack Ukraine, that everything that happened is the fault of Ukraine and that the despicable crimes committed in Bucha were staged. Also highlighting the Russian Federation’s assertions that it did not kill civilians or forcibly deport children, he said the world scientific community is still waiting for proof about pathogens spreading via bats and birds. Why would the destruction of the dam be anything different? he asked, adding that international law is clear that those responsible for the destruction of civilian infrastructure must be held accountable.
ROBERT A. WOOD (United States) said his country is in close touch with Ukrainian authorities on providing assistance to many civilians displaced and forced to flee their homes for safety and will continue to work with humanitarian partners on the ground. Voicing regret that the Council must meet urgently to discuss the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, he stressed that it was the Russian Federation that started this war and whose forces that took over the dam illegally in 2022 and have been occupying ever since. Deliberate attacks on civilian objects are prohibited by the law of war, he said, warning of the risks posed by the dam’s destruction, including massive ecological devastation and impacts to global food security. Although the dam’s destruction poses no immediate risk to the nuclear safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, he called on the Russian Federation to reconnect the sensors that automatically report data to Ukrainian civilian regulators and to allow IAEA to ensure the international community has reliable information on any radioactivity around the plant. His country will continue to work to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its aggression and continue to support Ukraine to defend itself in the face of the Kremlin’s brutality, he said.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), expressing his Government’s solidarity with Ukraine and its people who are evacuating from their homes or facing terrible damage to their livelihoods or water supply, said: “The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam is truly an abhorrent act.” For its part, London is already working with humanitarian partners on the ground to supply aid, including on the pre-positioning of supplies. The dam’s destruction has put thousands of civilians in danger and is causing severe environmental damage to the surrounding area with flooding threatening to contaminate water supplies and vital natural habitats. As well, vast swathes of agricultural land and electricity supplies are at risk, threatening food production and the international food trade. Spotlighting Moscow’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure time and time again throughout its war, he pointed out that this is just the latest of many tragic consequences. “If Russia proves to be responsible, it would be a new low in its conduct of this brutal war,” he said, urging that country to immediately withdraw its forces and bring the war of aggression to an end.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) stressed that the large-scale evacuation, loss of homes and impact on vital health services resulting from the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam are “to be deplored”, also expressing concern over how long the devastation will impact people and their livelihoods. He also deplored that this incident occurred only two weeks after the Council’s meeting on the protection of civilians. With more than 700 critical infrastructure facilities damaged or destroyed by the war, life and access to basic services grow ever more precarious, significantly impacting women and children. Expressing regret that the ability to respond to damage in the affected zone has been impacted by the de facto provisional administration resulting from the invasion and military occupation, he supported the Secretary-General’s appeal for safe, unfettered humanitarian access. He also welcomed efforts by the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to provide vital assistance, as well as the IAEA Director-General’s prompt reaction to tackle the implications of this attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Further, he reiterated that the Russian Federation has the obligation to withdraw its occupying troops from Ukraine.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) said that the partial destruction of the dam — a serious act — illustrates once again the devastating consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression, especially on Ukraine’s infrastructure. None of this would have occurred if the Russian Federation had not invaded Ukraine and if it had upheld the Charter of the United Nations. Expressing his deep concern over the disaster’s humanitarian, environmental and economic impact, he noted that Paris is ready to respond to Ukraine’s calls for aid. He also underlined the heightened risk to Zaporizhzhia’s power plant’s safety and security and voiced his full support for IAEA’s efforts to preserve that site’s integrity. Moscow must completely, immediately and unconditionally withdraw its armed forces from the entire territory of Ukraine; this is the only way to avoid other disasters of this kind. More so, the Russian Federation will have to be held accountable for the crimes it committed in Ukraine and pay for that embattled country’s long-term reconstruction. As such, the Council of Europe has created a register to document damage that all States should join, he said, pledging Paris’ continued solidarity with Ukraine’s people.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan) voiced his regret that this incident occurred just one week after the Council’s discussion on nuclear safety in Ukraine. “What is clear is that this would not have happened if Russia had not launched its aggression against Ukraine in the first place,” he pointed out, echoing the United Nations Secretary-General, who said that this is another devastating consequence of Moscow’s aggression against Kyiv. Urging the Russian Federation to stop its ongoing aggression immediately, he stressed that country must completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops and military equipment from the entire internationally recognized territory of Ukraine, especially since its aggression constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. There must be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities, including attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure. “Our support for Ukraine will not waver” he pledged, renewing his Government’s commitment to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as it takes.
CAROLYN OPPONG-NTIRI (Ghana), expressing concern about the emerging reports of extensive damage to the Kakhovka Hydro Power Plant and its consequential flooding of several settlements in the Kherson region, pointed to the immediate and long-term ecological and economic fallouts as well as the possible risks to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Urging the parties to restrain from further actions that could risk the security of other highly sensitive infrastructure, she welcomed the United Nations immediate deployment of humanitarian support as many people are likely to be displaced by the flooding. It is important to acknowledge that this unfortunate development is taking place in the context of the Russian Federation’s unjustified aggression against Ukraine, she said, adding that the Council should be provided with more clarity on the situation.
EDWIGE KOUMBY MISSAMBO (Gabon) said the attack on the Kakhovka dam creates further uncertainty regarding the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. She commended the responsiveness of IAEA experts whose presence on the ground allowed for an immediate deployment of a team on the disaster site, and voiced hope that the situation can be contained as quickly as possible to limit potential risks. Expressing concern about the attack on civilian infrastructure and its impact on civilian populations, she said the thousands of people affected are in addition to the millions already in need of humanitarian assistance. Nuclear and hydroelectric power plants are civilian infrastructure protected under international humanitarian law, she stressed, calling on warring parties to comply with those principles, fully cooperate with IAEA, and engage in dialogue to find a diplomatic solution to the war, which has lasted for too long.
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil), stating that evacuation efforts in areas downstream of the Dnipro River are a priority, urged the parties to the conflict to facilitate access for rescue teams and humanitarian workers. He also expressed concern over the risks the incident poses to the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, observing that the possibility of the Nova Kakhovka dam’s rupture affecting the supply of water for cooling reactors “is a reminder of how close we may be to a nuclear catastrophe”. He therefore encouraged the parties to refrain from actions that could lead to such a scenario and to increase their engagement with IAEA to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities. Further, it is essential to investigate the incident and hold those involved accountable. Noting that the rupture of the dam would not have occurred if the Russian Federation and Ukraine were at peace, he underscored that prolonged hostilities are likely to lead to further tragedies in the future. Several Member States have approached the parties in attempts to engage them in the pursuit of peace, he recalled, expressing hope that such initiatives will result in the resumption of dialogue and the cessation of hostilities “so that reconstruction can finally begin”.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) observed that recent developments further increase the burden for a population suffering from the Russian Federation’s military aggression. Noting that large-scale evacuations are under way on both sides of the front line and that thousands of people are likely to be affected, he stated that — in addition to the devastating short-term consequences in southern Ukraine — the international community must be prepared for serious long-term ones. On that, he expressed concern over the risks that massive flooding could pose to the environment, as well as to energy and food security. Emphasizing that “this event is a sad example of the links between water and the protection of civilians” — which the Council recently addressed — he underscored that the priority must be to protect the civilian population. Further, he called for rapid, unfettered access for humanitarian aid to be guaranteed throughout Ukraine and stressed that the Nova Kakhovka dam is protected under the rules of international humanitarian law, regardless of whether it is considered a civilian facility or a military objective. He added a call for the Russian Federation to immediately de-escalate the situation and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) pointed out that this attack against Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure is yet another flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law. The attack has also brought with it irreversible environmental consequences, with Ukraine’s river being contaminated with 150 tons of industrial lubricant. As well, dropping water levels are affecting access to one of the main critical cooling sources for the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — violating in every way possible IAEA’s five principles for ensuring nuclear safety and security. Underlining that civilians and civilian infrastructure are not a target, she stressed that intentional targeting constitutes a war crime. Since accountability must be the Council’s priority, the perpetrators of such crimes must be held accountable in line with international law. In the meantime, Malta will continue to support all efforts to address the consequences of Moscow’s aggression. She urged the Russian Federation to immediately cease all hostilities and unconditionally, completely and immediately withdraw all its forces and military equipment from Ukraine. Her Government continues to express its unequivocal support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and deplores any behaviour escalating the conflict further, she added.
DOMINGOS ESTÊVÃO FERNANDES (Mozambique) warned of the global repercussion of the looming environmental disaster, particularly on populations and ecosystems in the immediate vicinity of the hydro dam and on an already strained global food and grain supply chain. The deliberate weaponization and targeting of civilian infrastructure in times of war is a violation of international humanitarian law, he stressed, adding that parties must be held accountable for these acts. Recalling that his country warned last week against the risk of misunderstandings, miscalculations and collateral damages, ever present in the conflict, he once again called for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to direct negotiations between the parties.
ZHANG JUN (China) expressed grave concern over the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station and the resulting humanitarian, economic and ecological consequences. He called on all parties to the conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. The Director of IAEA has confirmed that the incident has not yet posed any safety risk to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. However, the water in the reservoir continues to recede and it may not be possible to pump water into the nuclear power plant in the future. In the event of a nuclear disasters, no one can stay immune, he cautioned, calling for maximum restraint to avoid escalation of the conflict and miscalculation. “As the flames of war rage on, it will only bring about greater suffering and disaster, creating more risks that are grave and impossible to predict,” he said, calling on the parties concerned to resume peace talks. China will continue to promote peace talks to achieve a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, he asserted.
MOHAMED ISSA ABUSHAHAB (United Arab Emirates), noting that the Nova Kakhovka reservoir was so large locals referred to it as the “Kakhovka Sea” ,pointed out that dams are afforded special protection against attacks in international law, even if there is a military objective, due to the dangerous forces contained therein and the risks to civilian populations. Since the start of the war, the world has narrowly avoided nuclear disaster more than once. This act has only further increased that risk. Encouraging all parties to work with IAEA to ensure that the cooling mechanism is functioning and that there are appropriate backup systems in place, he highlighted the humanitarian consequences. Already 16,000 people, including thousands of children, are reported to have been forced to evacuate their homes, and 40 villages are already submerged or partially submerged. The damage to a productive farming region puts further strain on an already challenged global food system. Underscoring that the cessation of hostilities throughout Ukraine is the only certain way to prevent further harm and prevent a nuclear disaster, he called for de-escalation and dialogue towards a peaceful, sustainable solution.
SERGIY KYSLYTSYA (Ukraine), noting his delegation’s request for this urgent Council meeting, said that on the night of 6 June, the Russian Federation blew up the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, which is located near the town of Nova Kakhovka in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region. This is a terrorist act against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, he stressed, pointing out that the Russian Federation has thus effectively recognized that the captured territory does not belong to it. Noting that the attack was planned well in advance, he said the Russian Federation has been controlling the dam and the entire power plant for more than a year. It is physically impossible to blow it up somehow from the outside by shelling, he added.
The explosion of the Kakhovka dam is an act of ecological and technological terrorism and the biggest technological disaster in Europe in recent decades, he stressed. Describing the attack’s impact, he said over 80 settlements are at risk of flooding, adding that maximum extent of the flooded territory will occur within three to five days. He urged the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international organizations to send humanitarian missions to the left bank of the Dnipro River to help local residents affected by the flooding. He also called on the international community to resolutely condemn the Russian Federation’s attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. Affirming the relevance of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula, he called on international partners to join its implementation as soon as possible. The Russian Federation will have to compensate for all the consequences of its crime on people, infrastructure and the environment, he stressed.
ANDREJS PILDEGOVIČS (Latvia), also speaking for Estonia and Lithuania, observed that, while States gathered in the Council chamber two weeks ago to debate the protection of civilians, “sadly today we are here to condemn” another deliberate attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure by the Russian Federation. Underlining that country’s track record of violating international humanitarian law and committing countless war crimes, he said that the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam has prompted the displacement of thousands of civilians and created another humanitarian crisis and environmental disaster. “We might be witnessing, indeed, an ecocide,” he said, also expressing concern over the potential consequences for the environment, energy and food security and nuclear safety which may go beyond Ukraine’s borders. This is another war crime which cannot go unanswered, and attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure must stop now, he underscored.
Commending the work of humanitarians providing life-saving assistance to people in need, he stressed the need to maintain safe, secure humanitarian access. The European Union is ready to provide immediate aid to Ukrainian authorities and to address any pressing needs, including food and drinking water. Further, the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is actively monitoring the situation, and Ukraine can request assistance under the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism. Noting that dams are protected by the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions, he underscored that the international community must not allow the Russian Federation to cause yet another disaster with catastrophic consequences. The Council of Europe’s register of damages is a concrete step in this direction, and the Russian Federation’s leadership must be prosecuted for the crime of aggression. “The sooner Russia realizes it has lost the war, the better,” he added.
KRZYSZTOF MARIA SZCZERSKI (Poland) pointed out that the consequences of the ongoing war — including its humanitarian emergency and environmental disasters — affect his country as a witness to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and a hub of international humanitarian assistance. He condemned the dam’s destruction, calling it “yet another outrageous act of Russian barbarity”, a grave violation of basic norms of humanitarian and environmental protection law as well as an apparent war crime. Such an act poses a direct threat to civilians living along the Dnipro banks downstream and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s operations. It also brings the prospect of an environmental disaster with unprecedented consequences on a regional scale which will reverberate across Europe. Moreover, it intensifies material losses and will result in further forced displacements of the local population on a mass scale.
“It is a clear violation of all our efforts to highlight the importance of the climate and security nexus, nuclear safety, civilian protection in armed conflicts including children and women and the protection of critical infrastructure,” he underscored. He pledged to undertake every effort to hold the Russian Federation accountable before the international community and punish the perpetrators of this criminal act, adding that his Government will insist on such through relevant international institutional and legal mechanisms, including humanitarian and environmental ones. Nevertheless, in order to stop the various threats and risks discussed by the Council, Moscow must immediately stop its war of aggression. Ukraine deserves every assistance it needs, he added, calling on the Council and the international community to stand by the values and norms of international law.
* The 9339th Meeting was closed.