Ukraine’s Zelensky Visits Flood-Stricken Kherson Region as War Continues (Worthy News Radio)

Thursday, June 8, 2023 | Tag Cloud

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

KHERSON/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The president of war-torn Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has visited his country’s southern Kherson region, hit by floods after Tuesday’s breach of a massive dam reportedly killed at least five people and impacted thousands. Zelensky’s visit came amid concerns that landmines dislodged by flooding could harm residents, and Kyiv and Moscow accused each other of shelling rescue workers.

With thousands facing evacuation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rushed to the flood-hit region of Kherson.

He praised rescuers and volunteers evacuating trapped residents and visited flood survivors in a hospital where he called the medical staff heroes. Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of shelling civilian areas complicating rescue work in areas where dislodged landmines already add to dangers.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without drinking water, and the Ukrainian army has used drones to drop bottles to at least some residents.

Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station and dam on Tuesday, which unleashed flood water from the Dnipro River.

Ahead of his visit to Kherson, Zelensky said Ukraine’s prosecutor general had already asked prosecutors of the International Criminal Court to investigate the alleged dam explosion.

Zelensky said Russia had committed a massive ecological crime. “The Russian occupiers have committed the biggest crime of ecocide on the Ukrainian land – not only during this war but in decades,” he added in English remarks.

“In fact, the destroyed Kakhovka reservoir is one of the largest in Ukraine. It holds 18 billion cubic meters of water. All the structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and its dam were located in the occupied territory. Under the full control of the Russian occupiers,” Zelensky noted.


“Last fall, we had information that the occupiers had mined the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. They did it intentionally. First, to blackmail the world. Second, to blow up the dam and use the flood as a weapon,” the president added.

Zelensky also severely criticized the United Nations and the Red Cross, who he claimed were not helping the relief effort impacting many. He said of the more than 100,000 people who lived in the flood-stricken area before the war, at least tens of thousands remained.

Flooding could impact global food supplies. Ukrainian officials warned of serious long-term consequences for agriculture in one of the country’s most fertile areas.

Authorities say about 230 square miles or 600 square kilometers of the Kherson region was under water Thursday, with average levels of flooding reaching 5.61 meters or 18.41 feet.

Some 68 percent of the flooded territory was reportedly on the Russian-occupied left bank of the Dnipro River, where several deaths have been reported.

Kyiv says the human-caused flooding was an attempt by Moscow to prevent Ukrainian soldiers from crossing the Dnipro River to attack occupying Russian forces.

Despite the strategic setback, there are reports that Ukrainian counterattacks are underway in several other areas including around the eastern city of Bakhmut, which saw one of the bloodiest battles since Russia’s invasion began in February last year.

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