Occupiers stealing en masse Dnipro water to Crimea. Debt may amount to billions of hryvnias
2 July, 2022

The Russian occupiers steal Dnipro water on a large scale, sending it to the occupied Crimea. In total, Russia could owe about 4 billion hryvnias ($135 million) for this, said the Ukrainian Ecological Inspectorate in a comment to BBC Ukraine.

Water intake reaches 50 cubic meters per second, and losses due to its unauthorized use amount to tens of millions of hryvnias per day. In March, the Inspectorate reported that the amount of damages due to the unauthorized use of water resources owned by the people of Ukraine was 32,628,960 hryvnias ($1.1 million) per day, and therefore, as of June 2 (the 129th day of the full-scale war), Russia already owed Ukraine more than 4 billion hryvnias ($135 million).

However, the deputy head of the state water agency Ihor Hopchak says that these are very approximate figures: the Russian military does not allow Ukrainian employees to work on hydrotechnical structures, so it is possible to monitor water consumption only through satellite images.

"These numbers are a shot in the dark. There is no exact count, this is an assumption," he told BBC News Ukraine.

During the capture of the Kherson Oblast on February 24, the occupiers also seized all the hydrotechnical structures of the North Crimean Canal, which regulated the water supply of water from the Kakhovsky Reservoir of the lower basin of the Dnipro River to the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

The Russians destroyed a temporary dam, a road bridge and the main barrier structure of the canal on February 27. Currently, Russia is drawing water from the Kakhovsky Reservoir in the lower basin of the Dnipro River due to the partial depressurization of the North Crimean Canal hydraulic structure.

It should be noted that the North Crimean Channel is located in the south of Ukraine (Kherson Oblast and AR Crimea). This is one of the largest irrigation facilities of the former USSR, which takes water from the Dnipro River (in the Kakhovsky Reservoir). Until 2014, the channel provided up to 85% of Crimea's needs, but after the illegal annexation, Ukraine blocked the channel through which water from the mainland reached the peninsula.

The Ukrainian authorities stressed that, according to international law, the occupying power bears full responsibility for water supply and providing the population of this territory with other resources.

The so-called head of Crimea demanded that the Russian Federation initiate criminal proceedings against those who blocked the North Crimean Canal. However, the representative office of the President of Ukraine in Crimea rejected all the accusations, reminding once again that the occupying power bears full responsibility.