Ukraine war: Blast at Nova Kakhovka dam unleash floodwaters; evacuation underway

Ukraine accuses Russia for blowing up the dam

Russia-Ukraine war A satellite image shows Nova Kakhovka Dam in Kherson region, Ukraine | Reuters

Ukraine military on Tuesday accused Russia of blowing up Nova Kakhovka reservoir near Kherson in the southern Ukraine.

“The Kakhova (reservoir) was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the southern command of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on its Facebook page.

“The scale of destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified,” it added.

While the blame game continues, the blasts at the land had unleashed floodwaters across the war zone forcing several to evacuate the area.

As part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant project, the dam was built in 1956. The dam, that is 30 metres (yards) tall and 3.2 km (2 miles) long holds water equal to the Great Salt Lake in the US state of Utah.

While, the Russian officials said that there is no threat to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The nuclear plant gets its cooling water from the reservoir.

Russian media reported that the dam had been destroyed in the shelling while the mayor of Russia-controlled Nova Kakhovka city said it was an “act of terrorism”.

An emergency meeting is called on by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to access the present situation over the blast. He had called a meeting with Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council.

Russian officials said that the evacuation near the dam is underway. The water would reach critical levels within five hours, officials said.

However, Russia had launched fresh attacks on Kyiv on Monday night and Ukraine military officials said that they had striked down over 20 missiles.

The Ukrainian forces claimed that they had advanced around Bakhmut. Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said describing the eastern city as the "epicentre of hostilities".

However it is unknown whether the attack was counter-offensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian fighters for delivering "the news we are expecting" on the Bakhmut direction.

"The enemy knows that Ukraine will win," he said.

Meanwhile Russian defence said that it thwarted a large Ukrainian attack in the eastern province of Donetsk, BBC reported.

Bakhmut has for months been at the heart of fierce fighting.

In early hours of Tuesday, air raid sirens were activated for several hours all over Ukraine.

"Despite stiff resistance and the enemy's attempts to hold their positions, our military units advanced in several directions during the fighting," said Maliar.

She said in Orikhovo-Vasulivka and Paraskoviivka, Ukrainian troops gained from 200m to 1,600m (656-5,250ft) while an Ivanivske and Klishchiivka they advanced between 100m and 700m (330-2,300), BBC reported.

All four villages are located within several kilometres of Bakhmut.

The Russian paramilitary group Wagner had claimed to have captured the city in the late May.

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