Evacuations continue following attack on major Russian-held dam in Ukraine

Ukraine is continuing to evacuate thousands of people Wednesday after an attack on the Nova Kakhovka dam, a major Russian-held dam in southern Ukraine, unleashed a torrent of water, flooding two dozen villages and sparking fears of a humanitarian disaster. Follow our live blog for the latest updates on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

9:39am: Russian-controlled nuclear plant ‘protected’ from re-capture, official says

The Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine is “sufficiently protected” from being re-captured by force, RIA news agency reported on Wednesday, citing an adviser to the head of nuclear plant operator Rosenergoatom.

9:24am: Russia’s Medvedev says Moscow should launch its own offensive against Ukraine

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president, said on Wednesday it appeared that Ukraine had launched its long-awaited counter-offensive and that Moscow should respond with its own offensive once it had repelled Kyiv’s forces.

“The enemy has long promised a great counter-offensive. And it seems to have already started something,” Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said in a statement on the Telegram messaging application.

“We have to stop the enemy and then launch an offensive,” he said.

9:10am: Russia detains resident in its far east on suspicion of spying for Ukraine

Russia has detained a resident in its far east on suspicion of spying for Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The suspect was accused of gathering information about law enforcement facilities and the region’s military infrastructure, the RIA news agency reported.

Reports said the suspect was a resident of the Primorsky Krai region, without providing further detail.

8:31am: Russia says West trying to confuse the world over Nord Stream culprits

The Russian embassy in the United States said on Wednesday that a report published by the Washington Post saying that the US was aware of a Ukrainian plan to attack the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines was part of a coordinated Western attempt to confuse the world over the truth.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a six-person team of Ukrainian special operations forces intended to blow up the Russia-to-Germany project. The report cited leaked information posted online that the CIA learned last June through a European spy agency,

“The coordinated campaign of the West, led by the United States, to confuse the international community is sewn with white threads,” Russian diplomat Andrey Ledenev was quoted as saying in a post on the embassy’s Telegram messaging channel.

“The reason for the proliferating theories and versions, supported by the notorious ‘confidential’ data of the local intelligence community, is simple to the point of banality.”

8:17am: Russian-installed authorities declare emergency in annexed parts of Kherson region

Russian-installed authorities have imposed a state of emergency in the Russian-annexed part of Ukraine’s Kherson region, the TASS news agency said on Wednesday, citing emergency services.

8:05: Two Russian towns lose power, one wounded after Ukraine attack, governor says

Two towns in Russia’s western Kursk region lost electricity and a man was wounded on Wednesday after Ukraine dropped explosives on an electricity substation near the border overnight, the region’s governor said.

“One of the workers received shrapnel wounds while restoring power supply. He is in the central district hospital and doctors are giving him all necessary treatment,” governor Roman Starovoyt said.

Reuters was not able to independently verify his account.

8:00am: Floodwaters expected to peak Wednesday morning

The floodwaters unleashed by the partial destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam on Tuesday, which resulted in the inundation of at least 35 villages and towns on both sides of the Dnipro River, are expected to peak later this morning.The higher water level is expected to last for several days, and evacuations are continuing on the Ukrainian side of the river. Prior to this incident, these areas were already on the front line and being shelled regularly. Even animals were not spared, as more than 300 in the Nova Kakhovka zoo, one of the largest in Ukraine, were killed in the floods. 

FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg reports. 


7:06am: At least seven missing in flooding caused by Nova Kakhovka dam destruction, TASS reports 

At least seven people have been missing after waters from the destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam flooded nearby areas, Russia’s TASS news agency cited the Moscow-installed mayor of the city of Nova Kakhovka as saying on Wednesday.

6:48am: Ukraine evacuates thousands after key dam destroyed

Ukraine was evacuating thousands of people Wednesday after an attack on a major Russian-held dam unleashed a torrent of water, inundating two dozen villages and sparking fears of a humanitarian disaster.

Washington warned there would be “likely many deaths” as Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for ripping a gaping hole in the Kakhovka dam, which is located on the frontline and provides cooling water for Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

Kyiv said the destruction of the dam  seized by Russia in the early hours of the war  was an attempt by Moscow to hamper its long-awaited offensive, which Ukraine’s leader stressed would not be affected.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday following requests from Russia and Ukraine.

“Today’s news means the plight of the people in Ukraine is set to get even worse,” the UN’s top humanitarian official Martin Griffiths told the meeting.

The UN warned that hundreds of thousands could be affected on both sides of the frontline.

6:47am: Russian forces shell Ukraine’s Kherson region, one person dead, governor says

Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian region of Kherson multiple times over the past day, the region’s governor said, with one person dying and one injured as a result of the attacks.

The shelling included the city of Kherson, the Ukrainian governor of the region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. There were no further details from Prokudin.

On Tuesday, the critical Nova Kakhovka dam in the Russian-controlled part of Kherson was destroyed, flooding large swaths of Kherson and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

6:01am: Water levels in Nova Kakhovka declining after dam destruction, Russia-installed officials say

Water levels in the city of Nova Kakhovka started to decline on Wednesday morning after the destruction of the nearby dam, the Russian-installed administration of the city said on the Telegram messaging app.

“The water level on the previously flooded streets of Nova Kakhovka began to subside,” the administration of the now Moscow-controlled city said.

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

Key developments from Tuesday, June 6:

Kyiv called for the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting following the partial destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, a major Russian-held dam in southern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general on Tuesday said 17,000 people were being evacuated from two dozen villages following the incident. Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up the hydroelectric dam, which represents a significant resource for the wider region by supplying water to a host of communities and Europe’s largest nuclear power station at Zaporizhzhia.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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