Kakhovka dam collapse: death toll rises to 45 in Ukraine, Russia

The death toll from flooding following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam has risen to 16 in Ukraine, Kyiv officials said, while Russian officials said 29 people have died in Moscow controlled areas.
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Nova Kakhovka dam that was breached in Kherson region, Ukraine June 6, 2023 in this screen grab taken from a video obtained by Reuters/via
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Nova Kakhovka dam that was breached in Kherson region, Ukraine June 6, 2023 in this screen grab taken from a video obtained by Reuters/via REUTERS /File Photo

(Reuters) - The death toll from flooding following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam has risen to 16 in Ukraine, Kyiv officials said, while Russian officials said 29 people have died in territories that Moscow controls.

The breaching of the Kakhovka Dam on June 6 unleashed floodwaters across a large swath of land in southern Ukraine and in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine, destroying farmland and cutting off supplies to civilians.

More than 3,600 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, while 31 people were still missing and some 1,300 houses remained flooded, Ukraine's interior ministry said on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Andrei Alekseyenko, chairman of the Russian-installed administration in the Moscow-occupied parts of the Kherson region, said on the Telegram messaging app the death toll had risen to 29 people.

Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the Soviet-era dam, under Russian control since early days of its invasion in 2022.

A team of international legal experts assisting Ukraine's prosecutors in their investigation said in preliminary findings on Friday it was "highly likely" the collapse in Ukraine's Kherson region was caused by explosives planted by Russians.

The Kremlin accuses Kyiv of sabotaging the hydroelectric dam, which held a reservoir the size of the U.S. Great Salt Lake, to cut off a key source of water for Crimea and distract attention from a "faltering" counter-offensive against Russian forces.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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