The full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year has entered a new phase with the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Ukraine’s occupied southern city of Melitopol, told Newsweek.
The critical Soviet-era dam in southern Ukraine on the Dnieper River, part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, was breached in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It unleashed water on many square miles of territory ahead of a looming counteroffensive from Kyiv.
Both Ukraine and NATO have accused Russia of being behind the dam’s destruction. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the damage, saying it was done to distract attention from a “faltering” counteroffensive.
The dam’s collapse placed thousands of homes in the critical risk zones. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said hundreds of thousands of people have been left without normal access to drinking water.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Ukrhydroenergo said 1,852 houses have been flooded on the right bank of the partially occupied Kherson region, with 1,457 people evacuated so far. Meanwhile, reports have emerged of occupying authorities leaving residents to fend for themselves in flooded areas.
“It’s a new stage of the war,” Fedorov, the mayor of the city of Melitopol in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, told Newsweek.
“Putin tried to commit a new level of aggression. But I know that we need to win,” he said. “Of course, every day we can expect from terrorists—Putin—something new, but it can’t stop us from winning this war.”
The Tribulation is commencing…
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