Russian soldiers were swept away by floodwaters following the Kakhovka dam breach as they tried to flee the east bank of the Dnipro River, Ukrainian sources claimed.
When the dam collapsed on Tuesday “no one on the Russian side was able to get away,” Captain Andrei Pidlisnyi, an officer in Ukraine’s armed forces, told CNN. “All the regiments the Russians had on that side were flooded.”
He said that many Russian troops were killed or wounded in the chaos.
Captain Pidlisnyi said his unit watched the events unfold using drones and troops on the ground.
He suggested the Russian unit in question may not have been given a warning by the Russian forces he claimed blew up the dam to maintain the element of surprise.
Russia is known to have built up defensive fortifications on the low-lying east bank on the river, which bore the brunt of much of the floodwater.
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Putin calls Kakhovka dam attack a 'barbaric act' in first reaction
President Vladimir Putin has called the attack on the Russian-occupied Kakhovka dam, which Moscow has blamed on Ukraine, a “barbaric act”, in his first public reaction to the situation.
Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that the breach was “a barbaric act which has led to a large-scale environmental and humanitarian catastrophe”, the Kremlin said in a statement.
In the wake of the dam’s collapse, Volodymr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president accused Moscow of deliberately bringing down the 30-metre-high structure with pre-laid explosives.
Engineers and munitions experts told the New York Times a deliberate explosion was the most likely cause of the collapse.
Britain warns of more flooding from dam break as thousands trapped
Tens of thousands of people remain stranded in the area along the Dnipro river, Volodymr Zelensky has said, as British intelligence warned that the Kakhovka dam will see further flooding over the next few days.
Ukraine says 42,000 people are at direct risk from flooding.
In its daily briefing, British intelligence warned: “The dam’s structure is likely to deteriorate further over the next few days, causing additional flooding.”
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said hundreds of thousands of people have been left without access to normal drinking water since the breach of the dam on Tuesday.
More than 2,700 people have been evacuated on both sides of the Dnipro River from flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, officials said.
Flooding in pictures:
Erdogan proposes destroyed dam probe in Zelensky call
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed creating an international commission to probe the destruction of a major dam in southern Ukraine in a call with Volodymr Zelensky, his office reported.
Following the call, his office said: “President Erdogan said that a commission could be established with the participation of experts from the warring parties, the United Nations and the international community, including Turkey, for a detailed investigation into the explosion at Kakhovka dam.”
Ukraine has not yet launched counteroffensive, says senior security official
Ukraine has not yet launched a planned counteroffensive to win back territory occupied by Russia, and its start will be obvious to everyone when it happens, a senior security official has said.
Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, dismissed statements by Russian officials who have said the counteroffensive has already begun.
“All of this is not true. When all this will begin, it will be decided by our military,” Danilov told Reuters in an interview. “When we start the counteroffensive, everyone will know about it, they will see it.”
Danilov said Russian officials had mistaken local Ukrainian advances in some frontline area for the start of the larger operation.
Pictured: A Ukrainian emergency worker in a radiation protection suit
In Zaporizhzhia, an Ukrainian emergency worker is pictured wearing a radiation protection suits to attend training.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant relies in large part on water from the now-emptying reservoir at the Nova Kakhovka dam.
The plant lies around 150km upstream from the Nova Kakhovka dam and also used water from it to cool its reactors.
Ukraine dam collapse violation of international law, says Germany
The destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam was a violation of international law, a German government spokesperson has said.
Among the aid sent to Ukraine for those affected by the destruction were generators, drip filters and tents, said German foreign ministry spokesperson at a regular news conference.
Landmines 'floating in dam flood waters'
Landmines unearthed by catastrophic flooding are floating down the river engulfing Ukrainian homes, officials have warned.
The mines are one of a number of emerging threats unleashed by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam that include hazardous chemicals and diseases, Kyiv has warned.
Visiting Kherson to inspect the damage caused by the dam’s collapse, Oleksandr Kubrakov, the Deputy Prime Minister, said: “Water is disturbing mines that were laid earlier, causing them to explode.
“As a result of the flooding, infectious diseases and chemicals were getting into the water.”
Analysis: Russian attack on Kherson dam could alter Ukraine’s strategy
The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam is a shock. But it should not have been a surprise.
For the Russians - an army on the defensive, expecting an imminent attack, and unbothered by collateral damage - it makes plenty of sense.
For the Ukrainians, it will seriously complicate any plans to cross the Dnipro as part of the summer offensive for two reasons.
Read more from Roland Oliphant here
Pictured: Rescue workers attempt to tow boats carrying residents being evacuated from a flooded neighborhood in Kherson
Ukraine says it advances as much as a kilometre in places near Bakhmut
Ukraine advanced from 200 to 1,100 metres on parts of the front around the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut in the last 24 hours, Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said.
“Our troops have switched from being on the defensive to being on the offensive in the direction of Bakhmut,” she said on the Telegram messenger.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the situation on the battlefield.
Zelensky comments on aftermath of flooding
Volodymr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has accused “Russian terrorists” of proving they are a “threat to everything living” in the aftermath of the destruction of the dam.
Russian terrorists have once again proved that they are a threat to everything living. The destruction of one of the largest water reservoirs in Ukraine is absolutely deliberate. At least 100 thousand people lived in these areas before the Russian invasion. At least tens of… pic.twitter.com/ISjIwKc2QN
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 7, 2023
President Zelensky tweeted a series of pictures showing the devastation of the flooding.
Dam destruction 'environmental catastrophe'
Ukraine’s prime minister said that the destruction of the Kakhovka dam was “one of the most significant environmental catastrophes in Europe in recent decades”.
Speaking at the OECD in Paris by video link, Denys Shmyhal said the attack would hit irrigation systems in southern Ukraine “leading to drought and crop failures” while 150 tonnes of machine oil had leaked into the Dnipro river as a result of the breach.
Watch: Fish scattered ashore on the Kakhovka reservoir.
Footage from social media appears to show fish being scattered ashore on the right bank of the Kakhovka reservoir.
Watch: Tens of thousands forced to evacuate Kherson
Ukraine warns over impact of Kakhovka dam collapse on farmland
The destruction of the Kakhovka dam will flood tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural land in southern Ukraine and could turn at least 500,000 hectares of land left without irrigation into “deserts”, the agriculture ministry said.
“The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station will lead to the fact that fields in the south of Ukraine may turn into deserts next year,” the agriculture ministry said.
It said in a statement late issued late on Tuesday that the disaster would cut off water supply to 31 irrigation systems in the Ukrainian regions of Dnipro, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Zelensky: Hundreds of thousands without drinking water after destruction of dam
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine had left hundreds of thousands of people without normal access to drinking water.
“The destruction of one of the largest water reservoirs in Ukraine is absolutely deliberate ... Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without normal access to drinking water,” he wrote on Telegram.
China expresses 'serious concern' over Ukraine dam destruction
China has expressed “serious concern” over the destruction of a major Russian-held dam in Ukraine, with Beijing saying it feared the “humanitarian, economic and ecological impacts” of the incident.
“We express serious concern over the damage to the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, adding Beijing was “deeply concerned about the resulting humanitarian, economic and ecological impacts”.
Before and after pictures of the flooding
Kherson dam: ‘We tried our best to save the zoo. Now it doesn’t exist’
Vita Lozynska has survived occupation, lost her husband to Russian shelling, and learnt to live with the constant dangers of an active frontline.
But nothing could prepare her for the sight that confronted her when she went to inspect the Dnipro river bank on Tuesday morning.
“In all my years living in Kherson I’ve never seen anything like it. Trees, cars, everything else, being carried along by the flood. Down in Korabelnyi only the roofs of houses are visible. And it is still rising. The water is flowing and flowing,” she said.
Read more from Roland Oliphant and Nataliya Vasilyeva here
At least seven missing in Russian-controlled Nova Kakhovka after dam collapse
At least seven people are missing after waters from the destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam flooded nearby areas, Russia’s TASS news agency cited the Moscow-installed mayor of the city of Nova Kakhovka as saying.
“Of seven people we know for sure (are missing),” TASS cited Nova Kakhvovka mayor Vladimir Leontiev as saying. More than 900 people were evacuated on Tuesday from the Russian-controlled city of some 45,000 people, which sits on the left bank of the Dnipro River.
Ukrainian officials said that some 80 communities in the overall Kherson region are at risk of being flooded.
The governor of Ukraine’s Kherson region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on Wednesday that 1,582 houses have been flooded on the right bank of the Dnipro River and some 1,457 people have been evacuated overnight.
Bombing of dam 'a new low' for Russia'
Russia was accused of destroying a dam to slow Ukraine’s counter offensive on Tuesday in what Rishi Sunak said would be a “new low” by Moscow.
Torrents of flood water burst through the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro river, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and leaving swathes of the front line underwater.
The destruction came a day after Kyiv launched multiple attacks across the front line for the apparent beginning of its long-awaited counter-offensive.
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said Russian troops had previously mined the dam and pressed the trigger at 2.50am.
The explosion was the “largest man-made disaster in Europe for decades”, he said.
Read more from Joe Barnes and Roland Oliphant here
Ukraine in pictures:
State of emergency imposed in Russia-controlled parts of Kherson, TASS reports
A state of emergency has been imposed in Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Kherson region following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam and the flooding of large area, Russia’s TASS state news agency reported on Wednesday.
The agency, citing emergency services, said about 2,700 houses were flooded after the destruction of the dam on Tuesday and almost 1,300 people had been evacuated.
At least seven people were missing, Moscow-backed officials said.
Zelensky says he awaits final agreements on 'powerful' F16 jets offer
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he received “a serious, powerful” offer from leaders of countries ready to provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets and is awaiting final agreements with key allies.
“Our partners know how many aircraft we need,” Zelensky was quoted as saying in a statement on his website. “I have already received an understanding of the number from some of our European partners ... It is a serious, powerful offer.”
Kyiv now awaits a final agreement with its allies, including “a joint agreement with the United States,” Zelensky said.
It is still unclear which Kyiv’s allies are ready to send the jets to Ukraine.
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