URGENT UPDATE: 40 more rockets on the plant since this report. Ukraine using donetsk water treatment plant for target practice entails risk of humanitarian disaster

New work team on site after being blocked for three days

Work team escorted to water treatment plant
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UPDATE: The Ukrainian army tonight fired 40 Grad rockets (122 mm) into the area of the Donetsk water treatment plant, at the risk of causing an ecological, human and health disaster. The extent of the destruction is yet to be specified. The DPR has called on the OSCE to respond.

Donetsk International Press Center, Report by Christelle Néant, in French

The risk of ecological and human disaster is regularly put right before our eyes by the situation surrounding the Donetsk water treatment plant.

Less than a month after the plant had to be stopped because of the Ukrainian army’s opening fire on the station’s employees, and despite the security assurances given by the Ukrainian side, the FAU keep right on targeting the station and its surroundings.

Following several days of regular bombardment, one of the worker teams was unable to return to Yassinovataya and had to stop for three days, the OSCE refusing to take the risk of escorting the convoys of teams, incoming and outgoing.

The bombings of May 14 and 15 damaged the administrative building of the station, fortunately withoutwithout causing any injuries. And this morning, for three hours, the Ukrainian army bombed the Mineralnoye area from its positions in Avdeyevka, preventing the change of teams that was originally planned for this morning.

It is only this afternoon, at 14:15, after intensive negotiations, that sufficient security guarantees have been obtained, allowing the OSCE to escort the new team, as well as a chlorine truck ( necessary to purify the water), and bring out the team that bravely endured three consecutive days of work, in inhumane conditions.

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We can only welcome the fact that, for once, the Ukrainian army has respected its commitments and has not opened fire against this convoy. Otherwise, an ecological and human disaster would have been inevitable, especilly if the chlorine truck had been hit.

While the contact groups are meeting in Minsk, the situation of the treatment plant has been addressed. Representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the Joint Control and Coordination Center for the Ceasefire (CCCC), recalled that the station was targeted by the Ukrainian army 253 times, the personnel four times, that more than 353 impacts have been recorded on the territory of the treatment plant, and that the plant has had to be shut down already 32 times because of the shooting.

Representatives of the DPR in the CCCC also supported the OSCE Mission’s idea of rolling back positions and weapons 1 kilometer away from the treatment plant, and providing for a mechanism of judicial punishment for those who break the ceasefire to prevent the Ukrainian side from sabotaging the process again.

Because for the DPR and its soldiers, it is important to prevent an ecological disaster stemming from using the treatment plant for a target.

Last month, after the incident that caused the closure of the treatment plant, a nearby DPR soldier stationed at Promka told us about the methods of the Ukrainian army, and why soldiers from the DPR do not open fire against them.

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