The Donetsk water filtration station in eastern Ukraine has been shut down for security reasons after five employees of the plant were wounded when by small gunfire on April 17 while traveling to work by bus.
The Donbass plant ceased operating at 15:05 local time on Wednesday, April 18, enterprise Voda Donbasa's website said. "The supply of drinking water to the government-controlled town of Avdiyivka, partly to Donetsk and the town of Yasynuvata [both are occupied by Russia], to the [occupied] village of Krasny Partizan [its new name – Betmanove], the [Ukrainian-controlled] villages of Kruta Balka and Verkhniotoretske has been suspended," according to a statement.
The United States State Department released a statement condemning the "shooting of civilian employees of the Donetsk Filtration Station in Ukraine, which left five individuals wounded. The filtration station has temporarily shut down following the incident. In addition to endangering the lives of innocent civilians, this attack threatened water supplies for almost 350,000 Ukrainians living on both sides of the line of contact".
"Yesterday’s incident follows closely shelling that severely damaged power lines near water pumping stations in the Donetsk region, which has endangered water supplies to over three million people. We urge Russia-led forces and Ukrainian Armed Forces to allow for maintenance workers to conduct repairs and prevent a new humanitarian crisis. We further call on all forces to withdraw from positions around the Donetsk Filtration Station and other critical civilian infrastructure" said the State Department.
During a period of 8 days in March, workers seeking to maintain the filter station were shot at on four separate occasions. UNICEF described the March incidents as “making the operation and maintenance of this key facility increasingly difficult. All employees and management of Voda Donbasa are extremely worried by this development, and it is possible the Filter Station may not be able to function much longer under such pressure”.
Donetsk Filter Station supplies water to the settlements of Avdiivka, Kruta Balka, Vasylivka, Mineralne, Yakovlivka, Verkhniotoretske, part of Yasynuvata and western areas of Donetsk city.