Greta Thunberg demands Vladimir Putin be punished for ‘ecocide’ in Ukraine

Greta Thunberg speech

Thunberg has demanded Russia be 'held accountable for their crimes'

Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 09/06/2023

- 11:52

The Swedish climate activist waded in on the destruction of the Kakhovka dam

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Greta Thunberg for her public reprimand of Putin’s “unprovoked full-scale invasion” and the effect it has had on the environment.

On June 6, the Kakhovka dam was destroyed by an explosion, prompting an uncontrolled rush of water downstream that broke the banks of the Dnipro river in Kherson Oblast, southern Ukraine.

Flooding from the breached dam has had a detrimental impact on human and animal life, while the draining of Ukraine’s largest drinking water reservoir poses further issues.

A step too far for Thunberg, the climate activist tweeted: “This ecocide as a continuation of Russias unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine is yet another atrocity which leaves the world lost for words.”

Thunberg protesting

Greta Thunberg graduated form school today


Thunberg added: “Our eyes are once again on Russia who must be held accountable for their crimes.”

The cause of the disaster remains officially unknown, for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused “Russian terrorists” of destroying the dam, while Moscow points the finger at Kyiv-instructed sabotage.

Zelensky responded to Thunberg’s message with thanks and agreement: “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 protests with Stand with Ukraine sign

Thunberg has been vocal in her support for Ukraine

Twitter/Greta Thunberg

The felling of 3.2km (2 mile) wide Kakhovka dam took took with it the hydroelectric power station, while officials are concerned about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which uses the draining reservoir for cooling.

On her 251st week of Friday school strikes for climate, Thunberg graduated from her school today and announced that she will “no longer be able to school strike for the climate.”

The activist has reassured her followers that she will “continue to protest on Fridays, even though it’s not technically ‘school striking’”

Thunberg added: “We simply have no other option than to do everything we possibly can. The fight has only just begun.”

In February 2022, Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov accused Russia of violating an article of the 1949 Geneva Conventions by causing $35 billion in environmental damage in Ukraine.

Reznikov said: “The damage to the ecology caused by Russia is estimated at $35.3billion. Millions of hectares of nature preserves are under threat.

Greta Thunberg meets Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn

Greta Thunberg meets Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn


"Article 55 of the Protocol I [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] prohibits waging war VS the natural environment by way of reprisals, but Russia doesn't care.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry vehemently denied any involvement in the dam’s demise, putting out a statement on Tuesday that labelled the incident “a terrorist act directed against the infrastructure of a purely civilian purpose.”

The ministry continued: "It was planned in advance and purposefully by the Kyiv regime for military purposes as part of the so-called 'counteroffensive' of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

After declaring a state of emergency in Ukraine, Zelensky wrote on Twitter: "Russian terrorists. The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land... The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles or anything else."

He continued: "Now Russia is guilty of brutal ecocide. Any comments are superfluous. The world must react.

"Russia is at war against life, against nature, against civilisation. Russia must leave the Ukrainian land and must be held fully accountable for its terror."

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