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Statement on the Destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam

09 June 2023

The NHC has issued a statement on the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and hydroelectric power plant.

On the night of 6 June 2023, the Nova Kakhovka Dam and hydroelectric power plant was destroyed. Nova Kakhovka is a city in the south of Ukraine which has been under Russian occupation since February 2022.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, the Dam was damaged beyond repair. Its destruction poses a serious threat to the livelihoods of the residents in the surrounding region and significantly intensifies the environmental damage.

As the floodwater makes its way through South Ukraine, the residents and the surrounding areas are at risk. A serious threat is also posed to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest nuclear facility. As a stark reminder of the war that the Ukrainian people are battling, the Dam floodwater also threatens to uproot and disperse mines, the Red Cross has warned as floodwaters surge downstream from the Kakhovka Dam. This poses a grave danger to civilians for decades to come. This is just one of a series of grave repercussions that have followed and will continue to unfold over the coming days.

Our friends and colleagues from Belozersky Center for Regional Development, a Ukrainian civil society organization have been active in the region and is currently located in Bilozerka, Cherson. In the wake of this ecological and humanitarian disaster, we renew our call for international solidarity for the people of Ukraine. We would also like to echo our partners call for assistance from the international community:

  • in gathering evidence;
  • assessing all the consequences of the disaster on the environment;
  • in taking quick measures to reduce and mitigate the consequences for the environment and population of southern Ukraine;
  • to activate the international environmental community in determining measures to reduce the consequences of such a crime on the Black Sea environment;
  • and to develop mechanisms to prevent such environmental destruction in future.

Read the full statement from our grassroots partners here.

The NHC has been active in supporting grassroots organizations in Ukraine since before the outbreak of the full scale aggression of Russia and we shall continue to stand by them in this difficult time.