At least 14 people have died and more than 2,700 have been evacuated from flooded areas in southern Ukraine after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam, Ukrainian officials reported on Sunday.
One hundred ninety children are among the evacuees, said Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.
In Ukrainian-controlled flooded areas in the Kherson region, Klymenko said five people have died and 35 people are missing, including seven children. He also said one person has died in the Mykolaiv region.
In the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, which lies upstream of the shattered dam, almost 162,000 people were without water, he added.
In Russian-occupied flooded territory, at least eight people have died in the town of Oleshky, Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson region military administration, told Ukrainian media Sunday.
Prokudin accused Russian-installed authorities of obstructing the evacuation from the east bank of the river, “by setting up checkpoints and not letting people out.” He said only people who had switched to Russian passports were being allowed through.
According to the Kherson regional military administration, shelling by Russian forces also continues despite the evacuation efforts.
“The enemy carried out 41 attacks over the past day, launching 247 shells from mortars, artillery, Grad MLRS, UAVs, and aircraft,” the administration said in a Telegram post Sunday.
Key context: Ukraine controls the west bank of the Dnipro River and the city of Kherson after its counteroffensive last year, while Russian troops remain on the east bank in the greater Kherson region.
Kyiv and Moscow have also blamed one another for causing the breach in the first place, although it is unclear whether the dam was deliberately attacked, or whether the collapse was the result of structural failure.