| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Death toll rises from flooding after Ukraine dam breach

The death toll from flooding caused by the failure of the Kakhovka dam has grown to 16 in Ukraine, according to Kyiv officials, while 29 people have died in Russian-controlled territory.

The June 6 breach of the Kakhovka Dam released floodwaters across a broad swath of territory in southern Ukraine and Russia-occupied portions of Ukraine, destroying crops and cutting off supplies to residents.

More than 3,600 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, while 31 people were still missing and some 1,300 houses remained flooded, Ukraine’s interior ministry said on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Andrei Alekseyenko, chairman of the Russian-installed administration in the Moscow-occupied parts of the Kherson region, said on the Telegram messaging app the death toll had risen to 29 people.

Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the Soviet-era dam, under Russian control since early days of its invasion in 2022.

A team of international legal experts assisting Ukraine’s prosecutors in their investigation said in preliminary findings on Friday it was “highly likely” the collapse in Ukraine’s Kherson region was caused by explosives planted by Russians.

The Kremlin accuses Kyiv of sabotaging the hydroelectric dam, which held a reservoir the size of the U.S. Great Salt Lake, to cut off a key source of water for Crimea and distract attention from a “faltering” counter-offensive against Russian forces.

  • Reuters