President: Russia must bear criminal responsibility for the consequences of blasting Kakhovka HPP structures

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasizes that Russia must bear criminal responsibility for the ecocide provoked by blowing up the structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives on the occasion of Journalist’s Day.

He noted that last year, Ukrainian intelligence reported on the mining of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam by the Russian occupiers and the risks related to these actions.

“It is very important that we were aware of these risks in advance. It is very important that the teams based at the SES and local teams were prepared. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was preparing for respective things,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The President emphasized that the blasting of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam caused serious natural, social and humanitarian challenges. In particular, 35-80 settlements are expected to be flooded. The issue of providing local residents with drinking water is being addressed, which will be needed not only in the flooded areas but also in neighboring regions.

“The consequences of the tragedy will be clear in a week. When the water goes away, it will become clear what is left and what will happen next. All teams are working in parallel, everyone is on the ground,” the Head of State added.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also spoke about the steps Ukraine is taking in the international arena, in particular to bring to justice those responsible for ecocide on Ukrainian territory.

“We involve everyone: at the level of heads of state and heads of government. First of all, the issue is not about assistance, but about recording (the aggressor’s crime – ed.). This is a big difference,” the President said.

The Head of State noted that Ukraine informed the European Union and NATO countries about another crime committed by Russia, initiated the convening of the UN Security Council meeting, and will also appeal to the International Criminal Court.

“In our opinion, this is a crime, the Prosecutor General’s Office has already registered it. It will have evidence. There is a modern classification – ecocide. We will work in this direction. This is a very important point that I would like the international community to pay attention to. And I will now focus our diplomats on working with the states that take an intermediary position. Especially those states that pay a lot of attention to environmental issues and eco-challenges,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

He expressed hope that Latin American and Asian countries, as well as relevant international organizations, would react to the crime of ecocide.

“I think that there should be criminal liability in the first place. International institutions, including the International Criminal Court, should react,” the President is convinced.