Ukraine Partners Allege Ecocide

Last week, the Kakhovka dam on the Dniprio River collapsed, flooding communities downstream and causing enormous human and ecological damage. The cause of the breach is still under investigation.

ELAW partner Olena Kravchenko spoke to The Guardian, stating that if Russia breached the dam, it would be sufficient for a charge of “ecocide.”

Olena is the Executive Director of Environment People Law (EPL). Her co-worker Kateryna Polianska, EPL scientist, was also interviewed by the international press last week. Kateryna told ABC News “that the dam collapse will bring widespread habitat disruption to important national parks such as the UNESCO-protected Black Sea Biosphere Reserve.”

In the early days of the war, Kateryna traveled to Eugene for an ELAW Fellowship. During her visit, she spoke with the Eugene Weekly about the Russian military’s crimes against humanity and attacks on Ukraine’s environment and animals.

ELAW has worked with EPL for decades to protect the environment through law in Ukraine. We admire their courage and unrelenting hard work under extremely challenging conditions to protect their communities and natural environment from the ravages of war.

For more information, please see:

ABC News, June 7, 2023
Catastrophe’: Experts fear dramatic consequences from Ukraine dam collapse

The Guardian: June 6, 2023
Dam breach could be Ukraine’s ‘worst ecological disaster since Chornobyl’ | Ukraine | The Guardian

The World, June 6, 2023 (Kateryna Polianska interview, starts at 3:33)
Ukraine grapples with catastrophic dam breach

Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide