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Some sources of information on the ecocide

We have compiled a list of sources you might want to use when writing your own appeals or raising awareness of the ecocide in Ukraine. We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for helping us compile this list. This page will be regularly updated. If you would like to suggest a source, please email us at contact@ecocideinukraine.com and put "Source" in the email subject.

Expert quotes

 

Former minister of ecology Ostap Semerak:

 

“The destruction of the dam would have a number of significant repercussions for the local area and for Ukraine's wider war effort. Fields downriver from the dam will suffer from the immediate problem of flooding and crop destruction. About half a million acres of fertile farmland rely on the Kakhovka reservoir for irrigation. If farmers lose water for their crops during the summer months, there could be severe knock-on effects on food production and security.”

Source

 

Oleksii Vasyliuk, biologist, founder of the Ukrainian Nature Protection Group (UNCG):

 

Downstream, forty-eight protected areas are currently at risk.  Among them, "one biosphere reserve, three national parks, one regional landscape park, sixteen reserves, three nature reserves, twenty-two natural landmarks and two parks-monuments of garden and park art will be partially or completely affected by flooding".

Source

 

Prof Roger Falconer, CH2M HILL Professor of Water Management, Cardiff University:

 

“When a dam fails (almost instantly) then this is a very extreme event and the short-term impacts are extremely challenging, with longer terms impacts also being considerable in many cases.

Put into context, the modelling of flooding due to extreme storm events can now be modelled accurately using a number of widely used computational hydrodynamic models. However, modelling dam break flows, and the sudden wave effects, requires much more complex models as the water wave propagating downstream is supercritical and similar in context to supersonic flight etc., i.e., the wave is travelling faster than the natural speed of a wave disturbance in water. Such models are only available from specialist consulting companies specialising in modelling extreme events.

The downstream wave raises the water level rapidly as the large volume of water stored in the reservoir is rapidly propagated downstream. The water level rises much faster than an extreme flood event and the warning time is extremely short. Such a dam break failure can often lead to many deaths downstream.

As the reservoir empties the water level in the reservoir drops dramatically and the upstream level also drops as a result of what’s termed backwater effects. The resulting drop in the river water level can have an impact many tens or even hundreds of miles upstream of the head of the reservoir, depending on the upstream river bed topography or bathymetry.

This upstream drop in water levels could impact the flow of water into water supply inlet pipes or canals, having a severe impact on water supply for communities and for agriculture – particularly crop production.

The upstream reduction in water levels will also invariably affect ground water levels, particularly close to the river, which can in turn affect the characteristics of wetlands, habitats etc.

When a dam has been in place for typically 70 years (as for Kakhovka dam) then the river bed morphology downstream of the dam and within and upstream of the reservoir will have stabilised. When the dam fails suddenly as for the case of the Kakhovka dam, then it will take some considerable time for the morphology to stabilise again and for the bed sediments etc. to operate as a stabilised system.

 

With the future shallower depths in the river system, where the reservoir was previous and the previously raised backwater levels, this reach will now have higher velocities for the same river basin flows and will have less transit time for pollutants etc. to decay biologically. Therefore the potential risks of future pollution levels could be increased downstream.”

Source

 

Erik Tollefsen, head of the Red Cross's weapon contamination unit:

Dislodged mines spark major concerns for Kherson residents and rescue missions. "We knew where the hazards were. Now we don't know. All we know is that they are somewhere downstream"

Source

 

Nataliya Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's military South Command:

“Many anti-infantry mines have been dislodged, becoming floating mines. They pose a great danger.”

Source

 

Victoria Voytsitska, former Ukrainian MP and Secretary of the Rada's Committee on Fuel, Energy, Nuclear Policies, & Security:

“For the moment, the Zaporizhzhia NPP has enough water supplies for cooling purposes. Moreover, unless the summer temperatures are extremely high and greatly accelerate water evaporation, the water supplies at the NPP will be sufficient for a long time.

Additionally, Ukraine has several alternative protocols for water supply at the NPP that were designed during its construction. The first is the use of mobile pumping stations with hoses that allow the intake of water from the Dnipro River.

However, the use of this protocol will require significant Russian goodwill, because the procedure will require the de-mining of the part of the Dnipro's left bank where the NPP is located. International pressure on Russia would be critical here.

An alternative but somewhat less sustainable option is the use of wells and sources located around the NPP for the replenishment of its water reservoirs.”

Source

 

Dr Modupe Jimoh, Assistant Professor of Civil and Humanitarian Engineering at the University of Warwick:

“The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam not only disrupts the generation of electricity, destabilizing the entire power grid; it also leads to flooding of the local area and loss of lives, livelihoods, properties and farmlands.

<…> The destruction of the dam’s water supply infrastructure would lead to a lack of water and significant shortages in certain areas, putting people at risk of health and sanitation issues. This setback would also hinder progress toward achieving SDG 6 Goal, which aims to ensure access to water and sanitation for everyone. Additionally, the war in Ukraine has already had a significant impact on global food availability and prices. The destruction of the dam and farmlands downstream would only worsen the situation, leading to even less food available locally and globally.

Furthermore, the bombing of the dam has raised environmental concerns. Hydroelectric power is known to be a renewable and eco-friendly energy source because it doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions while in operation. However, destroying the dam could result in industrial chemicals being released into the water and environment, as well as habitat destruction and ecological imbalances. These ecological effects could have long-term impacts on the nearby ecosystems, wildlife, and biodiversity.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of critical water and energy infrastructure in times of conflict. It emphasizes the need for greater international cooperation to protect such essential facilities. Targeting these installations undermines a nation’s energy security and has far-reaching implications for global stability, food prices, energy markets, and sustainable development goals. It is imperative that we work together to prevent and respond to such attacks, ensuring the security and resilience of critical infrastructures worldwide.”

Source

 

Dr Mohammad Heidarzadeh, senior lecturer in our Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath:

“The Kakhovka dam is one of the biggest dams in the world in terms of reservoir capacity, with an enormous reservoir water capacity of approximately 18 billion cubic meters. For comparison, it is 90 times bigger than the largest dam reservoir in the UK, which is Kielder dam in Northumberland. It is obvious that the failure of this dam will definitely have extensive long-term ecological and environmental negative consequences not only for Ukraine but for neighbouring countries and regions.”

Source

 

Reports

Ecoaction, Destruction of the Kakhovka HPP: preliminary conclusions and possible consequences

Joint report by 9 Ukrainian environmental charities. Presents an overview of the environmental consequences of the Kakhovka Dam destruction, including long-term predictions of climate change.

 

Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group, The consequences of the Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) for wildlife

Detailed scientific report on consequences for the local flora and fauna divided into two types: the consequences of the desiccation of the Kakhovka Reservoir and the consequences of the flooding downstream of the Dnipro River. Lists more than 300 species at risk. Separately analyses the variety of factors affecting the Black Sea.

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