MOSCOW: Eight people are dead in Russian-held territory and more than 5,800 have been evacuated from their homes as a result of Tuesday’s collapse of the huge Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine, a senior Russian-appointed official said today.
Vladimir Saldo, Russian-appointed head of Ukraine’s Kherson province, which Russia claims to have unilaterally annexed, accused Ukraine of continuing to shell rescuers on the Russian-controlled left bank of the Dnipro River.
In a post on Telegram, Saldo said the water level in the urban district of Nova Kakhovka, the town adjacent to the dam on the downstream side, had dropped by 2.5m from Tuesday’s peak.
However, in Oleshky and Hola Prystan, opposite the Ukrainian-held city of Kherson at the mouth of the Dnipro River, the water level remained “at the maximum”.
Saldo said the flooding might not abate for another 10 days, and that a total of 22,273 houses had been flooded in 17 towns and villages of the Russian-held part of Kherson.
The Kremlin earlier today accused Ukrainian forces of killing civilian victims of the flooding with repeated shelling, including one pregnant woman.
Reuters could not independently verify the assertions of shelling and there was no immediate comment from Kyiv, which has accused Moscow’s forces of shelling civilians located on flooded territory that it controls.
Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of blowing up the dam.