Friday, June 09, 2023
Ukraine has lodged accusations against Russia for shelling evacuation points in the Kherson region, where individuals affected by the breach of the Kakhovka dam were seeking refuge.
The Kherson prosecutor's office reported one fatality from the shelling in Kherson, with two others sustaining injuries. Additionally, the interior ministry disclosed that eight more individuals were hurt due to shelling in Korabelna Square. These attacks occurred during President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to the city, where he met with locals affected by the flooding.
Approximately 2,000 people have been evacuated from the area, according to Kherson's governor. Despite the immense danger and ongoing Russian shelling, the evacuation efforts from the flood-stricken zones continue, as stated by Oleksandr Prokudin in a video statement posted on Telegram. However, Prokudin highlighted that 68% of the flooded territory in the Kherson region lies within Russian-held territory on the east bank of the Dnipro River.
The devastating floods have caused significant pollution, including sewage, heavy oil, and pesticides mixed into the floodwater, leading the World Food Programme to describe the situation as a "public health crisis in the making." The flooding has affected an area of around 600 square kilometres (230 square miles), leaving hundreds of thousands without access to clean drinking water. Efforts to support affected residents include the Ukrainian army using drones to deliver water bottles and food.
Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of targeting evacuation points in the Kherson region, adding to the escalating tensions. President Zelensky criticised the slow response of the international community, including the UN and the Red Cross, to the dam collapse. Meanwhile, Russian officials claimed that Russian rescue workers were operating under constant shelling from Ukraine, although no evidence was provided to support these claims.