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Zelensky: Russians are shooting at rescue teams in flooded areas

2023-06-08 08:13:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Zelensky: Russians are shooting at rescue teams in flooded areas
Volodymyr Zelensky

Russian forces have fired on Ukrainian rescue teams trying to reach flooded areas in the Russian-controlled Kherson region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.

Rescue teams are trying to evacuate thousands of people in the flood zone of the Russian-occupied Nova Kakhovka dam and hydropower plant, which was attacked on Tuesday.

"When our forces try to evacuate the residents, they are shot by the invaders from a distance," Zelensky told Bild. "As soon as our helpers try to rescue them, they are fired upon. We won't be able to see the full impact until a few days from now, when the flood level has receded."

On Wednesday, a volunteer participating in the rescue effort in Kherson told CNN that volunteers face Russian shelling on nearly every flight.

"Of course it's extremely dangerous," said Roman Skabdrakov of the Cayman Volunteer Group.

The dam failure and subsequent flooding forced more than 1,800 people from their homes, flooded thousands of hectares of farmland, and top officials have called it an environmental disaster.

Kiev and Moscow have exchanged accusations about the destruction of the dam, without providing concrete evidence. The dam was occupied by Russia at the time of its collapse.

 It is not yet clear if the dam was attacked intentionally or if the breach was the result of structural failure./ CNA.al

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