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Ukraine and Russia blame each other for Kakhovka dam explosion

A view shows a flooded area after the Nova Kakhovka dam breached, amid Russia's war with Ukraine, in Kherson, Ukraine June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Vladyslav Smilianets

Kiev blames Moscow for the Kakhovka dam explosion on the Dnipro River; however, Moscow says western countries have a habit of linking negative incidents to Russia.

Thousands of people are being evacuated from the Kherson region following the destruction of a major dam on the Dnipro River.

Around 42,000 local residents are at risk from flooding in Russian and Ukrainian controlled areas after the collapse of the Kakhovka dam.

Kiev blames Moscow for the Kakhovka dam explosion on the Dnipro River; however, Moscow says western countries have a habit of linking negative incidents to Russia.

The UN Security Council met to discuss the incident.

Ukraine has blamed Russia for what it called the largest manmade disaster in Europe in decades.

This is a terrorist act against Ukrainian critical infrastructure that aims at causing as many civilian casualties and as much destruction as possible.

By resorting to scorched earth tactics, or in this case to flooded Earth tactics, the Russian occupiers have effectively recognized that the captured territory does not belong to them, and they are not able to hold these lands.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN

However, Russia has rejected that claim it says explosion was intended to free up Ukrainian forces for the counter offensive.

The deliberate sabotage undertaken by Kiev against the critical infrastructure facility is extremely dangerous, and can essentially be classified as a war crime or an act of terrorism.

We call on the Secretary General to finally provide an objective assessment of the terrorist acts carried out by the Kiev regime and condemn them.

Vasily Nebenzya, Russian Ambassador to the UN

Due to the explosion, the Canal, which has traditionally met most of Crimea’s water needs, is receiving drastically less water.

Russian officials assert the explosion appears to be a calculated attempt by Ukraine to choke off water supplies to the peninsula.

The dam traverses Ukraine's enormous Dnipro River, holding a huge reservoir of water being 30 meters tall and hundreds of meters wide. It was built in 1956 as part of a hydroelectric power plant.

Meanwhile, the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to escalate with conflicting reports. Russia says its repelled large scale Ukrainian offensives in Russian controlled Donetsk region.

Russia says it has destroyed a large number of armored vehicles which had been supplied to Kyiv by its Western allies.

Russia's Defense Ministry also claims hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were killed during the operations.

Kiev has yet to comment on the supposed losses.

Overall, during three days of combat activities on all axis, the losses of Ukraine's armed forces are as follows: up to 3715 soldiers, 52 tanks, 207 armored combat vehicles, 134 vehicles, five combat jets, two helicopters, 48 artillery units, 53 unmanned air vehicles [sic].

Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister

Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Ukrainian forces had launched offensive actions in certain areas. It is now widely believed that the recent clashes are part of a much anticipated counter offensive by Kyiv.

The new development came after frequent announcements by Ukraine that it is preparing for a counter offensive against Russian forces to take back part of the territory it has lost throughout the war.

After receiving tens of billions of dollars worth of Western weapons to fight Russian forces, the success or failure of any such counter offensive would shape the future course of the West's diplomatic and military support for Kyiv.

When you fight the war you can only say that you received enough weapons.

When you celebrate victory, then you come out and you say guys, thank you very much for providing me with weapons that I needed to get to this point.

And then if you are in a bad mood, you can complain that things could have been done faster. Or you can skip that point if you're if you're happy.

But I will never say, I never said it, and I will never say, until the moment of victory, that we have enough weapons to win.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has told The Wall Street Journal he is ready to launch the counter offensive, warning, however, that it could take some time and come at a heavy cost.

Ukrainian military officials have said that Ukrainian troops have continued moving forward near Bakhmut. Kyiv is officially keeping silent regarding the start of any counter offensive despite speculation by analysts that an offensive campaign against Russian forces has started.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president says he's received assurances from some European partners of supplying Kyiv with F 16 fighter jets.

In a statement, Volodymyr Zelensky described the offer as serious and powerful.

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has warned that US built F 16 fighter jets can "accommodate" nuclear weapons if they are sent to Ukraine by the West.

Moscow has already warned against sending the advanced American warplanes to the ex Soviet Republic by Western countries arguing that the move raises the question of American led NATO's direct military involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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