STOCKHOLM, June 9 (Reuters) – Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has accused Russia of causing the collapse of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, calling it an act of “ecocide”.
The burst of the huge dam, under Russian control in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, unleashed large floods, forcing thousands of residents to flee and wreaking environmental havoc. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for its destruction.
“This ecocide as a continuation of Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine is yet another atrocity which leaves the world lost for words. Our eyes are once again on Russia who must be held accountable for their crimes,” Thunberg, 20, said on Twitter on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy replied on Twitter: “Thank you for your position and for upholding the truth @GretaThunberg! (Russia) must be held accountable for all its evil against people, life and nature!”.
Thunberg on Friday told Reuters during a weekly climate protest by the Swedish parliament that the aftermath of the dam burst was “absolutely horrifying and awful”.
“Russia needs to be held accountable for their action and for their crimes. The eyes of the world are on them now,” Thunberg, who graduates from high school on Friday, said.
The United States said on Tuesday it could not say conclusively what caused the dam’s destruction but it was assessing reports that Russia, which has been occupying the dam since last year, was behind the blast.