Ukraine : Floods threaten thousands after the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and fierce battles in Bakhmut Ukraine : Floods threaten thousands after the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and fierce battles in Bakhmut

Ukraine : Floods threaten thousands after the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and fierce battles in Bakhmut

Ukraine : Floods threaten thousands after the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and fierce battles in Bakhmut

In the midst of an exchange of accusations, thousands of people in southern Ukraine face the threat of flooding as a result of the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, while battles rage between the Russian and Ukrainian forces on several fronts, during which the statements of the two parties are conflicting about the gains they have achieved.

Russian and Ukrainian officials revealed, on Tuesday, that thousands of people and dozens of villages are “at risk of flooding” due to the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and the associated Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station in the Russian-controlled parts of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

And Russian media reported that "22 thousand people and 14 villages around the dam area are at risk, due to the rise in the level of the Dnipro River after the bombing of the Nova Kakhovka Dam."

And the website of Russia Today channel quoted Vladimir Leontyev, head of the Nova Kakhovka city administration, as saying that the water level in Kherson province downstream of the Dnieper River "has risen by 2.5 meters."

The Russian official held Kiev responsible for the explosion, saying that the station and the dam were subjected to "Ukrainian bombing," noting that the strikes mainly targeted "the upper part of the hydroelectric power station where the valves are located, which led to its demolition."

Leoniev called the strikes "an extremely serious act of terrorism" and said Moscow-appointed authorities in the area were "preparing for the worst consequences" even though they did not urge the evacuation of the city's residents, the Associated Press reported.

On the other hand, Ukraine held Russia responsible for the dam bombing.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry called on Telegram residents of 10 villages on the right bank of the river and parts of the city of Kherson below to collect essential documents and pets, turn off the devices, and leave their places.

For his part, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said that "about 80 villages are threatened with flooding, following Russia's bombing of the Nova Kakhovka Dam."

President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council, according to what the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, announced on Telegram, condemning it as a "war crime."

In the same context, the Ukrainian nuclear energy company, Energoatom, said in a statement on Telegram that the explosion of the dam "could have negative consequences for the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant," but that the situation is currently "under control."

Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities warned that any damage to the Nova Kakhovka Dam could cause the flow of about 18 million cubic meters of water, drowning Kherson and dozens of other areas downstream, where hundreds of thousands of people live.

gains in Bakhmut

On Monday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised field gains made by his forces near the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, and mocked Moscow's "hysterical" reaction, which announced that large-scale attacks had been repulsed.

The Ukrainian authorities have confirmed their readiness for months to launch a major counterattack aimed at forcing the Russian forces to withdraw from the areas they occupy.

"We see how hysterically Russia responds to all the gains we are making in this sector, and to all the sites we control. The enemy knows that Ukraine will win," Zelensky said in a video message.

And the Ukrainian presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, said in a sarcastic tweet that Russia was "already actively engaged in repelling a comprehensive attack that has not happened yet."

"In some sectors we are carrying out offensive operations," Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Gana Malyar said on Monday.

It also referred to "minor battles" in the south, where Russian forces are "in a defensive position", without adding further details.

In response to a question from the press about the chances of success of the Ukrainian counterattack, US President Joe Biden indicated, on Monday, with a movement of his hand indicating that he hoped for the best.

On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that attacks had been repelled on "five sectors of the front towards the south of the Donetsk region" on the morning of June 4.

It indicated that the Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses near the town of Neskuchny, located in the Donetsk region, and in the town of Novodarivka, located on the border between this same region and southern Zaporizhia.

Also, "new attempts to penetrate the Russian defenses" were made on Monday afternoon near the town of Novodonetsky, in the vicinity of Vogledar, which is a hotspot on the front in the south of the Donetsk region.

It said that "the enemy did not achieve its goals" in violating the Russian lines, while broadcasting pictures of tanks being destroyed.

Bakhmut "the axis"

The Bakhmut sector is still, according to Kiev, "the focus of combat operations," after it was the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle in this war, and Moscow said it took control of it in May.

Maliar said that the Ukrainian forces are advancing on the outskirts of this city "on a relatively wide front," adding, "We are achieving success and occupying the heights."

It indicated that the Ukrainian forces advanced hundreds of meters in this sector.

The head of the "Wagner" armed group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, confirmed this progress, referring to "the loss of part of the town of Birkhivka," describing the matter as a "shame."

Russian experts and soldiers expect the Ukrainian forces to escalate their attacks to test the waters, before launching the major offensive.

Ukrainian forces have implemented this scenario before, in September 2022, when the Ukrainian army secretly prepared an offensive that led to the recovery of almost the entire Kharkiv region (northeast).

On Monday, Pope Francis' peace envoy, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zubi, who heads the Italian Bishops' Conference, visited Kiev to discuss with the Ukrainian authorities ways to end the war and humanitarian needs.

The envoy visited Bucha, a town near Kiev that has become a symbol of Russian atrocities.

"in terrible shape"

Two weeks ago, attacks and explosions escalated in the Russian region of Belgorod, on the border with Ukraine, during battles between the Russian army and pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters. The strikes, which targeted the area, resulted in the death of a number of civilians and the injury of dozens.

During the latest operation, Sunday, one of these groups, called the Freedom Corps of Russia and made up of Russians fighting on the side of Ukraine, detained people with the aim of handing them over to Kiev.

A video clip showed about 12 prisoners, including two wounded.

This is the first time that Russians have been captured on Russian soil.

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense did not comment on the matter, saying only that it repelled another incursion on Sunday.

Fighting has concentrated in recent days around Novaya Tavolyanka and Chebykino near the border, forcing thousands of civilians to flee to the regional capital, Belgorod.

On Sunday/Monday night, the Belgorod region was once again targeted by strikes and march attacks, which resulted in one person being injured and a site for energy infrastructure damaged, according to the region's governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

And the European Commission announced, on Monday, that the restrictions imposed by five European Union countries on the import of Ukrainian grain to protect its farmers could be extended until September 15, despite the opposition of Kiev and the resistance of a number of the twenty-seven countries.

Faced with an influx of imported grain filling silos and driving down prices in Eastern Europe, Brussels concluded an agreement at the end of April with five countries, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, allowing them until June 5 to block the marketing of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds. The sun is on its territory, provided that it does not prevent its passage to other countries.

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