Three deaths confirmed in Kherson just hours after Ukraine dam's devastating destruction

The first deaths caused by the Kakhovka dam breach have been announced by Ukrainian media. It comes two days after the world woke up to the news of a major environmental and humanitarian disaster, the perpetrator of which hasn’t yet been assessed. The Kyiv Independent has since reported that “three people drowned” in the Kherson region.

The news outlet cited the exiled mayor of the Russian-occupied city of Oleshky, Yevhen Ryshchuk.

This comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky voiced his fears for the lives of his fellow citizens held in Russian-occupied areas hit by the disaster.

The Kherson region was one of the areas invaded by Moscow troops in the early stages of the war last year.

Russia currently controls the left side of the bank of the Dnipro River in the southern part of Kherson, while Kyiv still holds the opposite side.

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction

View of a settlement impacted by the breach

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction

Nova Kakhovka dam: people being evacuated

Among the settlements controlled by Russia is the town closest to the damn, Nova Kakhovka – where swans were seen swimming freely in the flooded streets just hours after the dam had been breached on Tuesday.

Mr Zelensky said it was impossible to predict how many people would die in Russian-occupied areas of Kherson following the flooding, as he urged for a “clear and rapid reaction from the world”.

The president said so far it has been Kyiv’s military which has taken on the brunt of the rescuing efforts – taking place while, he said, Russians continue to attack the area.

He said: “Our military and special services are rescuing people as much as it is possible, despite the shelling. But large-scale efforts are needed.”

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction

NOVA KAKHOVKA DAM, UKRAINE — JUNE 6, 2023: 08 Maxar satellite imagery of the before/after images of flooded port facilities and industrial area, Kher

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction


Seemingly criticising the Red Cross, he added: “We need international organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to immediately join the rescue operation and help people in the occupied part of Kherson region. If an international organisation is not present in the disaster zone, it means it does not exist at all or is incapable.”

Mr Zelensky said to be “shocked” as he claimed he had had “no response” from the Red Cross hours after the world learnt about the disaster at the dam.

The president went on to claim Russia was “simply abandoning” Ukrainians in occupied flooded areas.

The Moscow-installed head of the region, Vladimir Saldo, said more than 4,000 people had already been evacuated in the Russian-occupied Kherson zones.

A plea to humanitarian organisations was also issued by the Prime Miniser of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal.

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction

Part Of Kherson Flooded After The Russians Blew Up The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant

He said: “We appeal to you to take charge of evacuating people from the territory of Kherson oblast occupied by Russia. We must save the lives of people whom the occupiers have condemned to death.”

Ukraine’s interior minister Oleg Klymenko said rescuers supported by police officers and volunteers had evacuated more than 1,800 people, adding 30 settlements – 10 of which in Russian-held areas – had been flooded.

The United Nations’ humanitarian affairs office said a team was in Kherson to coordinate relief efforts, and explained access to drinking water was a major concern at the moment.

The World Bank said it will help Ukraine by conducting a rapid assessment of damage and needs.

three deaths confirmed in kherson just hours after ukraine dam's devastating destruction

A view of a town impacted by the breach of the Kakhovka dam

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