The Russian president accuses Ukraine of committing an act that led “to a large-scale environmental and humanitarian disaster”. kyiv accuses Putin of being responsible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday denounced the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in the occupied zone in southern Ukraine, which he described as a “barbaric act” by Kiev, during a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The barbaric act aimed at destroying the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station in the Kherson region has led to a large-scale environmental and humanitarian disaster,” Vladimir Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement.
Both sides therefore reject responsibility for the destruction of the dam. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had accused Russia on Tuesday of having mined and detonated it, barring de facto the road to a counter-offensive by his troops in this area of the south of the country.
Ukraine and the Russian occupation forces continued on Wednesday the evacuation of civilians from flooded areas.
In Kherson, a town 70 km downstream from the Kakhovka dam, evacuations continued on Wednesday under the pressure of the nearby river. In the streets of the center, the water comes to the waist and below, on the banks of the Dnieper, it is five meters that it has risen.
Condemnation of Western allies
The Ukrainian authorities will have to evacuate “more than 17,000” civilians, Attorney General Andriï Kostine said on Tuesday. On the Russian side, the authorities evacuated 1,274 people and a state of emergency was declared in the part of the Kherson region controlled by Moscow. An unknown number of civilians also left the flooded areas on both sides on their own.
Ukraine’s Western allies have condemned an act endangering the lives of civilians, pending more specific information.
London is awaiting “all available elements”, said British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. The White House fears for its part that the destruction of the dam will lead to “many deaths”.
China expressed its “serious concern”, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the creation of an international commission of inquiry.
Source: BFM TV