Desperate Ukrainians facing starvation now have water pumps 'targeted'

Now Russia cuts off WATER supplies: Desperate Ukrainians facing starvation now have fresh crisis to deal with after shelling ‘targeted’ pumps

  • Luhansk governor said Kremlin was attacking electricity plants and water pumps
  • Sievierodonetsk’s 100,000 population fell by 17,000 and are now reliant on aid
  • Russian forces deliberately targeted supply of food to eastern region last week

Desperate Ukrainians hit by a lack of food have had their water cut off by Russian shelling too. 

Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai accused the Kremlin of systematically attacking electricity plants and water pumps to punish the local population.

Last week officials in Luhansk said Russian forces had deliberately targeted the supply of food to the eastern region.

They swamped the key city of Sievierodonetsk with missiles that wiped out all food depots, as well as markets and shops. 

The city’s 100,000 population has fallen by 17,000 and they are now reliant on aid supplies.

Hungry: Citizens of Sievierodonetsk queue in a factory bunker for food and water 

‘The Russians are deliberately destroying critical infrastructures and creating a humanitarian catastrophe,’ Mr Haidai said.

‘If we lost the ability to get water to those who are staying behind in the cities, people will start to die of dehydration. All of Russia’s actions are war crimes. They amount to a genocide of the Ukrainian people.’ 

The governor added: ‘On the battlefield, they showed themselves mediocre. The only tactic is to destroy everything around them in order to move forward.’ 

Luhansk authorities said yesterday there had been 7,500 power outages in the previous 24 hours and that ‘almost the entire region’ was without water. 

Internally displaced parents take care of their seven-month old girl in a bunker at a factory in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine

Russia has repeatedly denied it attacks civilian infrastructure, claiming all strikes carried out by its army are aimed at military targets. Pictured: Vladimir Putin

Russia has repeatedly denied it attacks civilian infrastructure, claiming all strikes carried out by its army are aimed at military targets.

The UN last week said six million Ukrainians faced a daily battle to access to clean drinking water.

It said Russian attacks in besieged areas of the country also meant at least another 4.6million people now had ‘limited access’ to water supplies. 

The Daily Mail visited the embattled southern city of Mykolaiv last week and found that locals had been forced to collect rainwater to wash themselves. 

Viacheslav Shevel, a 40-year-old entrepreneur, said the Russians had ‘destroyed water supplies’ by blowing up the plant in nearby Kherson. 

‘Those who live by the river are collecting water to use the toilet,’ he said. 

‘Fortunately, volunteers are bringing as much as they can from Odessa.’

Aid agencies say water shortages carry huge health risks, particularly for children and the elderly. Using dirty water sources can result in diarrhoea and other deadly infectious diseases. 

Alexander Stupun, a spokesman for Ukraine’s armed forces, last night said Russia troops were stealing food and drink in occupied parts of Luhansk.

Targeting food and water supplies would be illegal under international law as well as the Geneva Convention, the treaty governing armed conflict worldwide. 

Together with the Ukrainian embassy in London, Mail Force is sending 500,000 boxes of humanitarian food aid worth £8million to the war-torn country. 

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