(Geneva/Kiev) The recent intensification of the fighting in eastern Ukraine has again put certain key essential services at risk of coming to a full stop.
In the last two days, at least two major pumping stations – the 1st Lift Pumping Station and Karlivska Filtration Station, both in the Donetsk region and serving more than 1 million people on either side of the line of contact with potable water, including hospitals and other crucial services, were rendered inoperable by the hostilities.
“We are very concerned about the developments in eastern Ukraine over the past few days. Civilian infrastructure providing essential services, and civilian personnel who operate, maintain and repair that infrastructure are protected under International Humanitarian Law,” says Florence Gillette, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Ukraine.
“We remind all sides that, in the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians, and civilian objects. The ICRC calls on all the sides to spare infrastructure that is essential for the survival of the population and to respect principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.”
Over the past eight years, the hostilities in eastern Ukraine have regularly left towns, villages and rural communities on either side of the line of contact without essential water, gas or power for days or weeks on end.
Without urgent action to protect essential services in areas where the hostilities are taking place, large scale humanitarian implications are expected.
Repairs to the damaged infrastructure are urgently needed but will certainly take time.
Media Release ICRC of 19 February 2022, Ukraine
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