According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, body remains are floating in flooded areas following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
A major hydroelectric dam from the Soviet period collapsed early on Tuesday, releasing torrents of water into the Dnipro that caused severe flooding.
Moscow and Kyiv have both taken responsibility for the tragedy.
Zelenskyy said Russian soldiers shot at Ukrainian rescuers as they sought to reach individuals stranded in damaged regions in an interview with the American news outlet Politico on Wednesday.
“From the roofs of the flooded houses, people see drowned people floating by. You can see that on the other side. It’s very hard to get people out of the occupied part of [the] Kherson region. When our forces try to get them out, they are shot at by occupiers from a distance,” he said.
According to Yevhen Ryshchuk, the exiled mayor of the Russian-occupied city of Oleshky, who was quoted by The Kyiv Independent, at least three people have perished as a result of the dam collapse.
According to the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, the mayor of Nova Kakhovka, who had been installed by Russian forces, announced on Thursday that five people had died.
Zelenskyy cautioned, however, that it is not yet feasible to determine the number of fatalities.
“We won’t be able to see all the consequences for a few days, when the water has trickled down a bit,” he told Politico.
- Zelenskyy accuses Russian soldiers of shelling flood rescuers — Aftermath of dam’s fall
- Moscow blames Kyiv for Nova Kakhovka dam blast
- Kyiv accuses Moscow of blowing up Nova Kakhovka dam ‘in a panic’
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES