Mariupol in danger of epidemics after Russia launches damaged water supply systems, says ombudswoman

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The body of a victim of Russia's war against Ukraine is being loaded into a car in Mariupol
The body of a victim of Russia's war against Ukraine is being loaded into a car in Mariupol

Russia's war against Ukraine – the main events of May 22

As a result, there is a high risk of cadaveric venom, bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other pathogens that could be found in the water system, underground springs and rivers with the sea, she said.

"For almost three months of capturing and occupying the city, residents buried relatives and neighbors killed by the Russians in the courtyards near houses, close to the water supply and sewerage communications," Denisova said.

Read also: Associated Press publishes a video taken by a Ukrainian medic captured in Mariupol

"Most of the graves are not very deep, almost at the surface."

According to the ombudswoman, due to the fact that filtration systems and pumping stations for pumping sewage are also damaged by the occupiers, drinking water mixes with sewage and becomes unfit for consumption.

"In addition, the Russian invaders turned the city into a garbage dump, since there has been nothing to take out household waste for two months, it has started to be thrown away near houses," she said.

"Some of the garbage is flooded with water from damaged water pipes and rain, which leads to the growth of pathogenic bacteria, which then enter groundwater, rivers and the sea."

Read also: Mariupol engineer shares his story of spending two months in the Azovstal bunker

Also, due to exploded missiles and air bombs, soils and groundwater in the city are also contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals. This in turn leads accumulations of carcinogenic waste that are dangerous for humans and the environment.

Denisova said that this threatens mass poisoning and an epidemic of infectious diseases for the people of Mariupol, and the consequences for the environment will be felt for years - not only in Ukraine, but also abroad.

"The occupiers' actions violate the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols (including Protocol No. 1 of 1977) and are genocide of the Ukrainian people under Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," Denisova said.