The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia launched a probe under Article 358 of the Criminal Code of Russia (ecocide).
It was established that after the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation, unidentified persons located in Ukraine and opposing the reunification of Crimea with Russia, in violation of the provisions of the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Impacts, decided to cause damage to the economic, social and environmental situation of the Crimean peninsula by blocking the North Crimean channel.
As a result of the construction of a dam on the territory of Kherson region, since April 26, 2014, the supply of the Dnieper water through the canal has been stopped.
The lack of a proper water supply in the region causes the depletion of agricultural land, changes the ecosystems of the Sivash Bay and its shallow bays, as well as the state of animal populations.
Over the past six years the salinity of Sivash has increased threefold. Populations of almost all considered species of fauna, including those listed in the Red Book of Russia and the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, have decreased, some of them can be considered extinct. Wetlands of international importance "Central Sivash" and "Eastern Sivash" are losing their conservation value.
Shutting down the Severo-Krymsky channel also affected the quality of water used for household drinking water supply, since exceeding the maximum permissible norms of salinity and hardness has a negative impact on people's health.
The investigation is establishing all the circumstances of the offense and the persons involved in it.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko