Greta Thunberg offers Ukraine ‘professional help’
Climate activist Greta Thunberg met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday, as part of a proposal to form a “working group” on environmental damage caused by the conflict.
Thunberg, 20, visited the presidential palace in the company of former Swedish Deputy PM Margot Wallstroem, European Parliament VP Heidi Hautala, and former Irish President Mary Robinson.
“We need your professional help,” Zelensky told the Western activists, thanking them for the “compact of very concretic [sic] steps” that sends “a very important signal of supporting Ukraine.”
Thunberg accused Russia of “deliberately targeting the environment and people’s livelihoods and homes. And therefore also destroying lives. Because this is after all a matter of people.”
According to AP, the proposed working group wants to evaluate the environmental damage from the conflict, start efforts to restore Ukraine’s ecology, and formulate “mechanisms to hold Russia accountable.”
The latest person to travel to Ukraine to visit Zelenskyy — Greta Thunberg pic.twitter.com/N6hnJ2nuzX— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 29, 2023
Earlier this month, at the start of Ukraine’s all-out offensive, the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnieper River collapsed, causing widespread flooding in Russian territory. The dam’s destruction also drained the reservoir that provided water to Crimea and helped cool the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), Europe’s largest such facility. Kiev and Moscow have blamed each other for the disaster. Ukraine has previously used US-supplied rockets to bomb the dam.
Zelensky has also claimed that Russia intends to blow up the Zaporozhye plant in order to create a nuclear disaster. Moscow has rejected his accusations as “yet another lie,” while the International Atomic Energy Agency denied Kiev’s insinuations that the ZNPP cooling pond had been rigged with explosives.
Russia has accused Ukraine of plotting a “false flag” attack on the ZNPP so it could blame Moscow and create a pretext for NATO intervention in the conflict. The Zaporozhye plant, under Russian control since March 2022, has repeatedly come under Ukrainian artillery attack. In September last year, before the IAEA mission arrived, Kiev sent a commando unit to capture the facility, but the attack failed.
Thunberg gained overnight fame in 2018, as a 15-year-old who began boycotting school in protest over climate change. In a since-deleted tweet, she famously predicted the end of the world due to global warming by June 2023.