Reports emerging from the frontline in Ukraine indicate that Kakhovka dam located in Kherson Region has been bombed triggering massive flooding.
The 30-meter-tall, 3.2-kilometer-long Kakhovka dam holds back a massive reservoir on the Dnipro River and is part of a hydroelectric plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the “world must react” to the Kakhovka dam attack, blaming Russia for the breach which has caused extensive flooding.
“The world must react,” he said on social media, adding that Russia had carried out “an internal explosion of the structures” of the plant at 2:50 a.m. local time.
“This is just one Russian act of terrorism. This is just one Russian war crime,” he added, accusing Russia of committing an act of “ecocide.”
“Russia is at war with life, with nature, with civilization,” he added. “Russia must leave Ukrainian land and must be held fully accountable for its terror.”
The Kremlin meanwhile accused Ukraine of “deliberate sabotage” in the Kakhovka dam collapse.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the Ukrainian forces damaged the dam after allegedly suffering early losses in their counteroffensive launched 48 hours ago.
Peskov also warned that the damage could have “very serious consequences for tens of thousands of residents, environmental consequences and consequences of a different nature that are yet to be established.”
“The Kyiv regime should bear all the responsibility for all the consequences,” Peskov told reporters.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said that it saw “no immediate nuclear safety risk” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest.
The dam sits on the Dnipro River, which provides cooling water for the plant.
“The IAEA is aware of reports of damage at Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam; IAEA experts at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are closely monitoring the situation; no immediate nuclear safety risk at plant,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a tweet.
Andrei Alexeyenko, head of the local government in the Russian-occupied part of the Kherson region, said there was “no threat” to major population centers but added that more than 22,000 people were at risk.
“The increase of the water level downstream from the hydroelectric power station is between two and four meters which is no threat to major population centers,” he said.