Donetsk, May 23 – DAN. Cutting power to Donbass water supply facilities violates norms of international humanitarian law, Donetsk People’s Republic ombudswoman Darya Morozova said.
On May 22, the Voda Donbassa company said that it had been notified by the DTEK PES-Energougol electricity supplier that it would cut power to Voda Donbassa facilities starting May 23. Voda Donbassa said that the move would leave 1.5 million customers without water.
“Such actions during the armed conflict in Donbass can be viewed as the use of banned warfare methods and consequently, as a violation of norms of international humanitarian law,” Morozova said.
She cited Article 14 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. The documents prohibits the destruction, removal or rendering useless the vital facilities such as water supply installations.
The water supply situation in the region aggravated in mid-March 2019, reportedly due to Voda Donbassa’s outstanding debt to Ukrainian electricity suppliers.
The Severskiy Donets – Donbass canal is key water supply source in the region. It feeds water to towns and villages on both sides of the contact line. The canal repeatedly came under Ukrainian forces fire which caused interruption in waters supply and damage to the DPR’s vital infrastructure.*jk