Friday, May 12, 2023

Having Destroyed Canals and Failed to Repair or Replace Them, Russian Forces Can’t Supply Water to Occupied Ukrainian Areas

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 8 – Even before Vladimir Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine last year, many observers noted that one goal he might have in doing so would be to supply water to Crimea which, after 2014, no longer received water from mainland Ukraine (

            But far less attention was devoted to the fact that Moscow’s occupation of the Donbass, its destruction of pre-existing canals, and its failure to repair or replace them, despite numerous promises to do so has left that region without an adequate supply of water and put its industry and the health of its population at risk.

            Moscow has regularly promised that it will take the steps necessary to address the problem ( But a new survey of developments there shows that it has not done so and that the lack of water is hitting the region hard (

            Across Russian-occupied regions, there isn’t enough water for industries to operate, to prevent ground water from coal mine areas contaminating drinking water, or even for people to take baths and brush their teeth, a situation that is leading to a silent economic and health care disaster.

            The longer the fighting goes on, the more existing canals are being destroyed and the greater the chance that diseases are going to spread even as the economy of the occupied region collapses. Only where the Russians have been driven out has the situation shown any sign of improvement. 

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