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Ukraine says Russia destroyed major dam

Updated on: 07 June,2023 08:24 AM IST  |  Kyiv
Agencies |

Residents ordered to evacuate region amid fears of ecological disaster

Ukraine says Russia destroyed major dam

Water runs through a breakthrough in the Kakhovka dam in Kakhovka, Ukraine. Pic/AP

The wall of a major dam in a part of southern Ukraine that Moscow controls collapsed on Tuesday after a reported explosion, sending water gushing downriver and prompting dire warnings of ecological damage as officials from both sides in the war ordered residents to evacuate. Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up the dam and hydroelectric power station, while Russian officials blamed Ukrainian military strikes in the contested area.

The fallout could have far-reaching consequences, flooding homes, streets and businesses downstream, depleting water levels upstream that help cool Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and draining supplies of drinking water to the south in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed. It was unclear which side benefits from the damage, since both Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-held lands are at risk of flooding. The damage could also potentially hinder Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south, while Russia depends on the dam to supply water to the Crimea region.

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A top Ukrainian diplomat called Russia a “terrorist state” on Tuesday at the International Court of Justice and lawyers argued that Russia bankrolled a “campaign of intimidation and terror” Anton Korynevych was addressing judges in a case against Russia linked to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine in the years before Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.

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