As a result of the Russian terrorist attack at the Kakhovka HPP, dozens of settlements in Ukraine have been flooded. The evacuation of residents under the occupiers’ fire continues. There is an absolutely catastrophic situation in the occupied part of the Kherson region. The Russians simply abandoned people in these terrible conditions. People have no rescue, no water; they just sit on the roofs of houses in flooded communities. And this is yet another deliberate crime of Russia: after the terrorist state caused a catastrophe, it also maximises the damage from it.

“Unfortunately, the left bank of the Kherson region, which is controlled by the occupation authorities, remains the most affected. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without normal access to drinking water. People, having lost everything, try to save at least their lives. But the enemy does not evacuate them and does not allow evacuating on their own,” said Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Commissioner noted that there are reports that:

  • People are not allowed to cross checkpoints and are ordered to go back if they don’t have a Russian passport
  • Kherson is shelled during evacuation
  • Volunteers, who want to help people, are not allowed to enter the temporarily occupied territory
  • Occupiers do not evacuate people themselves

“Whole families are sitting on the roofs of houses, begging for help and rescue, but the occupation authorities do not respond to their requests. They distanced themselves from performing these duties,” Lubinets said.

To date, more than 2,000 people have been rescued in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. “I call on international organisations to arrange the evacuation of people from the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia in order to save their lives,” emphasised President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

Flooded regions of Kherson region

He added that the world needs to react clearly and quickly to what is happening. It is impossible to establish with certainty how many people in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region may die without rescue, without drinking water, without food, without medical assistance. Our military and special services are saving people as much as possible, despite the shelling.

“It is necessary that international organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, immediately join the rescue operation and help people in the occupied part of the Kherson region. Every dead person there is a sentence to the existing international architecture, to international organisations that have forgotten how to save lives. If now the international organisation is not in the zone of this disaster. It means that it does not exist at all; it means that it is inefficient. Ukraine and our government have made all relevant appeals,” the President said.

Many world leaders, heads of state, governments, and intergovernmental associations expressed their support for Ukraine and their clear condemnation of the Russian crime of ecocide, and also sent humanitarian aid.

Photo credit: Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Natalia Tolub

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