The rupture of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine reverberates as far as Antwerp. Oksana Matviievska (43) stood in front of the city hall in Antwerp on Tuesday with a painted cardboard to draw more attention to the ecological consequences. She has also taken a walk around town spreading her message. “Belgium and Europe must understand the seriousness of the situation, because I fear that the problem is being underestimated.”
Greg Van Roosbroeck
Today at 05:00
“Russia blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station and is destroying the future of the planet. Stop ecocide Ukraine. Stop Russian crimes.” Oksana Matviievska, a Ukrainian woman from the occupied city of Severodonetsk who has been living in Edegem since last year, was on the Grote Markt in Antwerp on Tuesday. In her back: the stately town hall. In her hands: a piece of cardboard with this self-written text. Afterwards, Oksana walked through the city for a few hours and gave explanations to about twenty curious people.
“I wanted to draw attention to the ecological disaster that is currently unfolding in Kherson,” says Oksana, who used to have a degree in ecology from Luhansk University. “People need to know that nature and animals are also badly affected. The river has filled with oil and it is now on its way to the Black Sea. Belgium and Europe must understand the seriousness of the situation, because I fear that the problem is being underestimated.”
The emptying of the Kakhovka reservoir does, in addition to a lot of human damage, also cause damage to nature and a lot of animal suffering. Andrei Yermak, one of Ukraine’s top advisers Zelensky, shared images of fish gasping for water on Twitter. “Russia’s man-made ecocide,” Yermak wrote.
In addition, the animals of a zoo in the region were almost all swallowed up by the water. “About three hundred animals were killed. Only a few swans and ducks could escape,” Kazkovaya Dibrova animal park reports on Facebook. The victims include two monkeys, a pony, a donkey, raccoons, parrots and marmots. Witnesses on the Russian-occupied eastern shore point to a natural park that has been completely engulfed.
Oksana received support on Tuesday from Svetlana Korkina (38), a friend from Zaporizhia who has also been living in our country for about a year now. The two study Dutch together. “Europe and Ukraine must tackle this disaster together, because Russia will not do that,” says Oksana. “Moreover, the ecological consequences will also be felt in other countries than just Ukraine.”