Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Shelling Rescuers Amid Dam Evacuations

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BY ALJAZEERA

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian forces of shelling Ukrainian emergency workers who are trying to rescue people from floodwaters caused by the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.

Speaking in his nightly address on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said that more than 2,000 people have been rescued so far from flooding in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions which, he said, contrasted starkly with Russian-occupied regions where he accused Moscow’s forces of simply abandoning people to the flood.

“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 organizations, 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.

Reporters said on Wednesday that artillery booms could be heard as people scrambled to leave affected areas with the help of rescue workers.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zelenskky said he was disappointed that the UN and the Red Cross had so far failed to respond rapidly to the dam disaster, according to comments published by media outlets.

“Each person who dies there is a verdict on the existing international architecture and international organizations that have forgotten how to save lives,” he said later in his evening address.

“If there is no international organization 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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