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Zelenskyy meets Greta Thunberg in Kyiv to address the war’s effect on ecology

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, on 29 June. Source: The Presidential Office
Zelenskyy meets Greta Thunberg in Kyiv to address the war’s effect on ecology

On 29 June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and members of the International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War in Kyiv to address ecological damage from the Russian war.

The working group includes former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, and Thunberg.

“Thank you for being here today. This is an extremely important signal of support for Ukraine. We really need your professional assistance,” Zelenskyy said during the meeting.

Thunberg said that she would engage representatives of environmental NGOs in a dialogue on the main tasks of the International Working Group and draw attention to the environmental consequences of the war.

Among the objectives of the working group are assessing the environmental damage caused by Russian aggression, bringing it to justice for its environmental crimes and compensating for the damage, as well as developing plans for the environmental restoration of Ukraine.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the gravity of crimes against the environment throughout the war; in Ukrainian law, this is clearly ecocide. The issue of responsibility for these crimes must be addressed both at the national and international level,” Vice-President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala stressed.

The Ukrainian leaders also discussed the consequences of the Nova Kakhovka dam destruction by Russian troops. As a result of the flooding unleashed after the attack, hundreds of civilians were left without their homes and drinking water.

On 15 June, Greta Thunberg joined a rally against Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine in Bonn, according to DW.

She said that Russia committed ecocide, destroying the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, and called on the world to bring the aggressor country to justice.

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