The alleged attack on the dam in Cherson has drawn international criticism. This applies in particular to the Russian aggressor.
Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s army has repeatedly carried out devastating attacks in recent months – and committed war crimes. That is why recent developments in southern Ukraine are causing international concern and anger.
“This is an outrageous act”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the destruction of the important dam. The incident endangers thousands of civilians and causes serious environmental damage, Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “This is an outrageous act that once again demonstrates the brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine.”
EU Council President Charles Michel was also dismayed by the serious explosion. “Shocked by the unprecedented attack on the Nowa-Kachowka dam,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “The destruction of civilian infrastructure is clearly a war crime – and we will hold Russia and its proxies accountable.” He will raise the issue at the EU summit at the end of June and propose more aid for the flooded areas, he wrote. “My thoughts are with all the families affected by the disaster in Ukraine.”
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In the Russian-occupied part of the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson, the important Kakhovka dam was destroyed. The situation is critical, thousands of people are threatened.
Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for the potentially devastating incident on Tuesday morning.
This animation shows where the water masses could spread in the coming hours. Up to 80 towns are said to be exposed to an acute risk of flooding. According to the local authorities, around 22,000 people are likely to be affected, around 16,000 are in the “critical zone” at home. The evacuations are underway.
According to local authorities, the water level at the dam has already risen by more than ten meters. These recordings should prove that.
According to experts, in 15 to 20 hours the port and docks of Kherson are likely to be hit by a four to five meter high tidal wave.
Videos of the blown dam and flooded areas along the Dnipro circulated on Twitter early Tuesday morning.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also spoke of a war crime. “A deliberate attack on exclusively civilian infrastructure is a war crime,” Cleverly wrote on the online networks on Tuesday. He spoke of a “disgusting act” and assured Kiev and those affected support.
Scholz: “New dimension” of the Ukraine war
Latvian President Egils Levits also expressed solidarity with Ukraine. “Russian terrorism has just reached a new level,” he wrote on Twitter. “Blowing up dams leads to mass destruction and deaths.” An ad hoc special tribunal will hold Russia accountable. According to Levits, Ukraine must win this war.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly spoke of an “abhorrent act”. “A deliberate attack on exclusively civilian infrastructure is a war crime,” Cleverly wrote on the online networks on Tuesday. He assured Kiev and those affected support.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees the partial destruction of the Kachowka dam as a “new dimension” to the Ukraine war. The damage to the dam is something “that fits with the way Putin is waging this war,” Scholz said on Tuesday at the WDR’s Europaforum in Berlin. It is a development “that we are looking at with care and concern”.
Baerbock: “There is only one person responsible”
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has also blamed Russia for the flooding after the destruction of the Kachowka dam. “There is only one person responsible for this man-made environmental catastrophe: Russia’s criminal war of aggression in Ukraine,” said the Green politician on Tuesday during her trip to Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “With the Kachowka dam, a civilian dam near a nuclear power plant is being misused as a weapon of war and the lives of people in the area are being endangered.”
Baerbock assured that the federal government was working “at high pressure” on an accurate picture of the situation. This is being done in close coordination with Ukraine, the other countries in the Group of Seven of the major western industrialized nations (G7) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Comparable to the use of an atomic bomb”
The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, classified the incident as “another war crime”. “Russia wants to destroy infrastructure, culture and nature,” tweeted the Green politician. “Putin and his henchmen must be held responsible for the war crimes.” Union parliamentary group leader Johann Wadephul said: “The now foreseeable catastrophic effects on people and nature in the lower reaches of the Dnieper are comparable to the use of an atomic bomb,” he told the “Stuttgarter Zeitung”.