Ukraine: 16 dead, 31 missing in flooding from Nova Kakhovka dam collapse
18 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava
Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the area around the Nova Kakhovka dam has been one of the most hotly contested areas.
In the aftermath of the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse and subsequent flooding, at least 16 people are dead and 31 are missing due to the flooding, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs briefed on Saturday, as reported by CNN.
On June 6, the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine collapsed, destroying villages, flooding farmland, and cutting off power and clean water supplies to tens of thousands of people. It’s not clear if the dam was targeted intentionally or if structural issues led to its collapse.
In contrast, Russia claims that Ukraine launched “mass artillery attacks” on the dam to cut off the water supply to Crimea and create a diversion from the fighting. According to Kiev, Russia destroyed the dam “in panic” before an anticipated counteroffensive by Ukraine.
The same day, Andrey Alekseenko, the leader of the Kherson region’s government, who is supported by Russia, provided a higher death toll in a Telegram post, according to CNN. “Unfortunately, there are now 29 fatalities.
Twelve individuals in Oleshky, thirteen in Hola Prystan, and four in Nova Kakhovka. Each family who has lost a relative will receive the support they need, Alekseenko wrote.
Nova Kakhovka dam falls under most contested areas of the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the area around the dam has been one of the most hotly contested areas. After eight months of Russian occupation, the Ukrainian military freed the city of Kherson, which is located on the west bank of the Dnipro River, in November, according to CNN.
However, much of the river’s east bank south of the Nova Kakhovka dam is still under Russian control. Large portions of southern Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, receive water from the reservoir.