Comment from Daria Morozova on threats to disconnect water supply

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

In accordance with Article 14 of Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), it is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless, for that purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian populations, including drinking water installations.

The disconnection of electricity from PrJSC “DTEK PES-Energougol” to the facilities of the Public Utility Company “Voda Donbassa” (Water of Donbass) since May 23 may lead to the shutdown of filtering and pumping stations of the Seversky Donets-Donbass channel, which supply more than 1.5 million people with water on both sides of the line of contact.

Thus, in the context of armed conflict in Donbass, these actions of the Ukrainian side can be viewed as the use of prohibited methods of warfare, and therefore, as a violation of the norms of international humanitarian law.

If these threats become actions, we will seek support from international human rights organizations in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region through pressure on the leadership of Ukraine by the world community and the guarantor countries of the Minsk agreements.