Russia blocks UN aid for Kakhovka dam collapse victims

The United Nations has rebuked Moscow for allegedly denying its aid workers access to Russian-occupied areas affected by the recent Kakhova dam.

The dam was breached on June 6, unleashing a wave of water from the Dnipro River on communities across southern Ukraine including Russian-occupied parts of the Kherson region.

The floods destroyed homes and farmland, forced the evacuation of thousands, contaminated supplies of drinking water and sparked fears of environmental disaster.

In a statement late Sunday by the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, said that the organization has engaged with Moscow and Kyiv, each of which occupies parts of the southern Kherson region where the dam and reservoir are located, to address the “devastating destruction” caused by the breach.

The Russian government “has so far declined our request to access the areas under its temporary military control,” Brown said.

“We urge the Russian authorities to act in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law,” her statement added.

The explosion occurred as Ukraine mustered for a counteroffensive. Kyiv’s forces have intensified attacks along the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line recently.

The dam lies on the Dnieper River, which forms the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces on the eastern and western banks, respectively. Some analysts saw the dam breach as a Russian effort to thwart Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the Kherson region.

On Monday, the U.K. Defense Ministry revealed that Russia has recently redeployed several thousand troops from the banks of the Dnieper to buttress its positions in the Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut sectors, which reportedly have seen heavy fighting.


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