June 18 (Reuters) – The death toll from floods following the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam has risen to 16 in Ukraine, Kiev officials said, while Russian officials said 29 people died in Moscow-controlled territory.
The breach of the Kakhovka Dam on June 6 sent floodwaters pouring over a wide swath of land in southern Ukraine and in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, destroying farmland and cutting off supplies to civilians.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said on its Telegram channel late on Saturday that more than 3,600 people have been evacuated from flooded areas in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, while 31 people are still missing and nearly 1,300 homes are still submerged.
Andriy Alekseenko, the head of the administration installed by Russia in the Moscow-occupied parts of the Kherson region, said on messaging app Telegram that the death toll had risen to 29.
Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the Soviet-era dam, which has been under Russia’s control since the early days of its invasion in 2022.
A team of international legal experts assisting Ukrainian prosecutors in their investigation into preliminary findings said Friday that it was “highly likely” that the collapse in Ukraine’s Kherson region was caused by explosives planted by the Russians.
The Kremlin accuses Kiev of sabotaging the hydroelectric dam, which holds a reservoir the size of the US Salt Lake, to cut off a major water source for Crimea and to divert attention from a “faltering” counter-attack against Russian forces.
(Reporting by Lydia Kelly from Melbourne); Edited by Lincoln Feast.
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