The North Crimean Canal (file photo)
Russia has launched a probe into what it called "ecocide" over Ukraine’s decision to suspend water deliveries to Russia-annexed Crimea.
Ukraine suspended freshwater deliveries to Crimea after Moscow annexed the peninsula in 2014 by sending troops and staging a referendum that was rejected by Ukraine and at least 100 countries.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said on August 24 that a probe has been launched against unidentified individuals "located on Ukraine’s territory and standing against the reunification of Crimea with Russia," who started construction of a dam on the Dnipro River in Ukraine’s Kherson region in April 2014, blocking freshwater deliveries to Crimea.
Kyiv, which has not commented on Russia’s accusation, has said that water deliveries will be resumed after Russia returns Crimea under Ukraine’s control.
According to the Investigative Committee, the suspension of water deliveries to Crimea from Ukraine via the North Crimean Canal hit agricultural lands, increased the salt level in the waters of the Gulf of Sivash, and negatively affected the health of Crimea residents.
Last year, Russia-imposed authorities in Crimea had to introduce water-rationing in some towns and cities in the peninsula as the availability of clean drinking water became an issue.