Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has accused Russian soldiers of shelling Ukrainian emergency workers trying to save civilians from flooding brought on by the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
On Wednesday, Zelenskyy said in his nightly address that more than 2,000 people had been saved from flooding in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. He contrasted this with the Russian-occupied regions, where he said Moscow’s forces had simply left people to the flood, accusing them of doing nothing to help them.
“Evacuation continues. Under fire!” Zelenskyy said. “Russian artillery continues to fire, no matter what. Savages,” he said. “Our military and special services are rescuing people as much as it is possible, despite the shelling.”
Zelenskky described conditions in Russian-occupied parts of the Kherson region as “absolutely catastrophic” and called on international humanitarian organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to immediately deploy to and help people abandoned in occupied areas now hit by flooding from the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam on Tuesday.
“The occupiers simply abandoned people in these terrible conditions. Without rescue, without water, just on the rooftops in flooded communities,” Ukraine’s president said.
“It is even impossible to establish for sure how many people in the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson region may die without rescue, without drinking water, without food, without medical care,” he added.
On Wednesday, reports said that artillery booms could be heard as residents hurried to flee impacted areas with the aid of rescue workers.
According to statements made earlier on Wednesday and reported by media sources, Zelenskky expressed disappointment that the UN and Red Cross had so far failed to act quickly in the wake of the dam disaster.
“Each person who dies there is a verdict on the existing international architecture and international organisations that have forgotten how to save lives,” he said later in his evening address.
“If there is no international organisation in the area of this disaster now, it means that it does not exist at all, that it is incapable of functioning. All the relevant appeals from Ukraine and our government are in place,” he said.
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SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES