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Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, called for an investigation into Iran’s transfer of attack drones to Russia that violates a UN Security Council resolution.
"I am gravely concerned by the growing military cooperation between Russia and Iran which continues to enable Russia's prosecution of its brutal war against Ukraine," Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement Friday.
She cited information released by the US earlier Friday which documented how Iran “has provided Russia with hundreds of one-way attack UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], as well as UAV production-related equipment.” The ambassador said Russia has been using these UAVs in recent weeks to unleash missile strikes on Kyiv and "terrorize Ukrainian civilians.”
She went on to accuse Russia and Iran of violating UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which prohibits countries from transporting these types of weapons from Iran.
Ukraine and the US, as well as other countries, have reported the violations to the United Nations, the ambassador said. She added that there is an “urgent need” for the UN secretary-general to investigate the situation, adding that “doing so could save lives.”
Ukraine has received humanitarian aid from the European Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism following the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said Friday.
The EU said “12 European countries are sending water pumps, tankers, boats, generators, and more life-saving aid” to Ukraine.
“Currently, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Estonia and the Federal Republic of Germany have transferred the following to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine: fire and rescue equipment and all-terrain vehicles, a special vehicle, a refrigerator, generators, fuel tanks, and overalls,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement.
Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Poland, France and Norway are also sending humanitarian aid, it added.
Following the collapse of Ukraine’s Nova Kakhovka dam earlier this week, irrigation will become one of the largest problems for agriculture in southern Ukraine, according to a government minister.
The Kakhovka Canal provided water to more than half a million hectares (over 1.2 million acres) of land, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solskyi said.
“Land that did not have irrigation systems will also suffer, as farmers will no longer have anything to farm. They received their main and stable income from the harvests from fields that had irrigation systems,” he said in a statement on Friday.
The minister said that without irrigation, up to 1.5 million hectares (over 3.7 million acres) of land will not be fully utilized, and it could take up to seven years to restore irrigation.
“The Kakhovka Reservoir was the source of two irrigation and water supply systems: the Kakhovka System and the North Crimean Canal. These systems were built taking into account water levels to minimize the use of electricity for pumps. Now the water level has dropped, so water simply does not reach the systems. To raise it, we need to rebuild the dam. So this is a problem for many years,” he added.
At a media briefing on Friday, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council Denys Marchuk said Ukraine could see a loss of more than $1.5 billion in grain and oilseeds alone because of the destruction.
The dairy sector could face severe impacts, Marchuk said, also adding there would be issues growing vegetables as they require a sufficient amount of water.
“Since the occupation, we have already lost a large supply of products from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. When we get these territories back, it will be very difficult to return to growing this crop. In fact, farmers say that if a new hydroelectric power plant is not built and there is no place to take water from, they will not continue this business,” he said.
A United Nations convoy met with Ukrainian authorities in Kherson to discuss the provision of further humanitarian assistance, officials said Friday, as the southern region reels from devastating floods caused by the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam earlier this week.
“Drinking water, food packages, materials for housing repairs and medicines are being sent to the Bilozerka community and Kherson city,” the Kherson region military administration posted on Telegram.
“The delegation met with Oleksandr Prokudin, Head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration, and representatives of the military administration,” the post continued. “They discussed the needs of the region and the next aid deliveries.”
Speaking in Bilozerka, on the Ukrainian-controlled west bank of the Dnipro River and one of the worst-affected areas, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown warned the number of people suffering will continue to rise past the initial estimates of 17,000 in Ukrainian-controlled areas alone, according to a UN news release.
“The disaster has also impacted people in areas under Russian control, but the UN currently has no access to this part of the country,” the release added.
Ukrainians living in areas flooded by the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam are “completely reliant” on handouts for clean drinking water, the nongovernmental organization World Central Kitchen told CNN on Friday.
“Roads and bridges have been flooded out and so food cannot move (into the area),” World Central Kitchen coordinator Yuliya Konovalova said. “Water is offline and so people are now completely reliant on water provided by us and others.”
The collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has flooded entire villages, destroyed homes, and left tens of thousands of people without power or clean water.
Humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger’s field coordinator in the region, Phil Oldham, told CNN that the lack of clean drinking water in the area could mean that even those people whose homes have not been directly impacted by the flood will have to leave.
“We can see the possibility that there will be a much larger displacement as a result of the lack of drinking water,” Oldham said. “Now even some of the wells in the area above the (area flooded by the) dam are running dry. ... That could create additional displacements far beyond the level we're seeing now directly from the flood zone.”
Oldham said that those who've been displaced will likely be out of their homes for months, even as the water recedes.
Others in the area will try to stay in their homes no matter what, Konovalova told CNN. “Many have resisted evacuation because they do not want to leave their homes in a war for the uncertainty of evacuation sites and relocation,” she said.
Christian Aid’s Ukraine Response Director Iryna Dobrohorska told CNN that the possibility of water-borne illnesses exists as well.
"Water contamination from dead animals and sewage is likely to have an impact on the rise of health dangers, (with) cholera being one of key risks in the affected areas,” Dobrohorska said.
For those who have chosen to stay, Dobrohorska said urgent medical help is needed – and not just physical help.
“The affected populations are equally in need of immediate psychosocial support,” she said. “... Coupled with stress and shock from flooding, the people require close medical attention."
“The people we are seeing are the elderly and the poor — that is the horror of the front line,” Konovalova said. “People are scared, people have lost everything, people are clinging to the little they have left."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday “there are a lot of problems” as rescue operations in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions continue following the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse.
“But we are working to overcome them at all possible levels,” Zelensky said in his nightly address. He did not elaborate on the issues.
Amid reports of intensified fighting in the south of the country, Zelensky said, “For our soldiers, for all those who are in particularly tough battles these days. We see your heroism, and we are grateful to you for every minute of your life.”
The president also thanked the United States for a new security assistance package of support worth more than $2 billion. He said the package will ensure “missiles for the Patriots and other air defense systems, strengthening our defense on the ground, strengthening the strength of all our soldiers.”
Thirty-two countries, but not the United States, can submit opinions in a case in which Ukraine is accusing Russia of using false genocide claims as a pretext to launch its full-scale invasion, the International Court of Justice said in a statement Friday.
On February 27, 2022, Kyiv filed a case against Moscow, stating that “the Russian Federation has falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine, and on that basis recognized the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’, and then declared and implemented a ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine.”
“Ukraine ‘emphatically denies’ that such genocide has occurred and states that it submitted the Application ‘to establish that Russia has no lawful basis to take action in and against Ukraine for the purpose of preventing and punishing any purported genocide’,” according to the original submission.
The United Nations' top court on Friday granted applications from the UK, Canada and 30 other states to participate.
The countries have until July 5 to submit their opinions, according to the judgment document.
British Royal Air Force Typhoons scrambled twice over one day to intercept several Russian aircraft flying close to NATO airspace, the UK's Ministry of Defense said in a statement Friday.
On Thursday evening: RAF Typhoons based at Amari Air Base in Estonia and Swedish Air Force Gripens sought to intercept a Russian Air Force IL-20 "Coot- A" and Su-27 "Flanker-B" flying close to NATO and Swedish airspace, the ministry said.
"The Russian aircraft were not complying with international norms by failing to communicate with the relevant Flight Information Regions (FIRs), however they remained in international airspace and flew in a professional manner," the statement said.
On Friday morning: RAF Typhoons were scrambled again to intercept one Antonov An-12 "Cub" and one An-72 "Coaler" flying south from mainland Russia toward the Kaliningrad region, the ministry said.
"The RAF fighters were later re-tasked to intercept two Tupolev Tu-22M ‘BACKFIRES’ and two Su-30 SM FLANKER H, also flying south from mainland Russia over the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea," the ministry said. "The Russian aircraft were once again not complying with international norms by failing to liaise appropriately with local FIRs."
The British were joined by the Finnish Air Force to escort the Russian aircraft through the Gulf of Finland and later handed off to the Swedish Air Force.
"Portuguese and Romanian F16s, based out of Siauliai Airbase in Lithuania, were also scrambled to escort the Russian aircraft as they transited further south through the Latvian and Lithuanian FIRs," the UK ministry added.
“These intercepts are a stark reminder that the RAF is always ready to defend our skies and those of our allies, while the coordinated action by several air forces serves as a clear demonstration of the value of our international alliances," UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is quoted as saying in the statement.
A pilot who was involved with the scramble said that "although there is an apparent increase in regional activity, these intercepts remain normal jogging for us and we are ready to respond to any task that may pose a threat to regional security," according to the statement.
NATO is currently conducting naval exercises in the Baltic Sea and, "as expected, Russian aircraft have been monitoring allied vessels throughout," the ministry said.