Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 72 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Smoke rises over Kyiv

Smoke rises over Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv on February 27, 2022. (Photo: Evgen Kotenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Russian Climate Delegate Apologizes for Assault on Ukraine

"All of those who know what is happening fail to find any justification for this attack against Ukraine," said Oleg Anisimov.

Jake Johnson

A Russian climate delegate apologized to his Ukrainian counterparts and other government officials on Sunday for the ongoing and deadly invasion, which he decried as wholly unwarranted.

"First of all, let me thank Ukraine and present an apology on behalf of all Russians who were not able to prevent this conflict," Oleg Anisimov, the head of Russia's delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said during a private virtual meeting.

"Let me thank Ukraine and present an apology on behalf of all Russians who were not able to prevent this conflict."

"All of those who know what is happening fail to find any justification for this attack against Ukraine," added Anisimov, a scientist at the state hydrological institute in St. Petersburg. "Since we are dealing with scientific issues, we have huge admiration for the Ukrainian delegation that was able to still do its work."

Anisimov's remarks, which attendees hailed as courageous and moving, came after Ukraine's delegation to the IPCC was forced to briefly depart a meeting Thursday due to Russia's attack, which has thus far killed an estimated 350 civilians and heightened the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war.

According to one human rights organization, thousands of Russian anti-war demonstrators have been arrested in recent days during demonstrations against the invasion.

The Daily Beast characterized Anisimov's comments as "possibly the first instance of a Moscow official speaking out against the invasion."

Government delegates to the IPCC gathered Sunday to put the finishing touches on the body's latest scientific report, which is expected to show that the human-caused climate crisis is accelerating, sparking devastating extreme weather across the globe.

The report is set to be published early Monday.

Svitlana Krakovska, the leader of Ukraine's delegation to the IPCC, reportedly used her remarks at Sunday's IPCC meeting to link war and the climate emergency.

"Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots—fossil fuels and our dependence on them," Krakovska said, according to another government delegate in attendance.

Krakovska also reportedly voiced dismay that the IPCC's vitally important findings will have to "compete for media space with war."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·

Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·

Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·

Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo