Ireland ‘stands with Ukraine’ branding Russian bombing of major dam a ‘war crime’

Ireland ‘stands with Ukraine’ branding Russian bombing of major dam a ‘war crime’

THE Irish government has reiterated its support for Ukraine today following the Russian bombing of a major dam and hydroelectric plant in the south of the besieged country.

A catastrophic flood has been caused after numerous explosions hit the Kakhova dam, positioned on the Dnieper river, overnight.

Footage from the scene today shows village streets and fields near the dam have already been swamped by flooding, which is set to displace tens of thousands of people.

Residents of 10 villages on the river's right bank, as well as parts of Kherson city downriver, have been forced to leave everything and flee their homes since the bombing.

Floods have forced thousands of people to leave the area of Kherson following the bombings overnight

This afternoon Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Micheál Martin spoke out on the atrocity, claiming “the intentional targeting of civilian objects, including critical infrastructure, is a war crime”.

He added: “Ireland is working with EU and international partners to ensure those responsible are held to account. We will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

The European Union have today condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms".

"It represents a new dimension of Russian atrocities and may constitute a violation of international law, notably international humanitarian law," they added.

"The downstream flooding is putting at risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians in around 80 settlements, including the city of Kherson. It aggravates the already dire humanitarian situation in those areas."

Confirming their relief effort for those affected by the attack, the EU stated: "We remain in touch with Ukrainian authorities to ensure the EU’s immediate assistance.

"The Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission (ERCC) is actively monitoring the situation and in close contact with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

"Ukraine can request assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). We stand ready to address any immediate needs, including food and drinking water."

They added: "We recall that attacks on critical civilian infrastructure may amount to war crimes.

"We stress our determination to ensure that all commanders, perpetrators and accomplices of war crimes or other most serious crimes will be held accountable in line with international law."