Day 469 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kherson is under water, Ukraine wants Help from the EU

World » UKRAINE | June 7, 2023, Wednesday // 11:07
Bulgaria: Day 469 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kherson is under water, Ukraine wants Help from the EU

Day 469 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Kherson is under water, the dam explosion submerged 5 thousand houses. Ukraine wants help from the EU
  • Russia shot at its own pipeline on which the grain deal depends. Moscow blamed Kyiv
  • Erdogan told Zelensky that an international commission could be formed to investigate the destruction of the dam near Nova Kakhovka
  • More than 42,000 people are at risk after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam
  • Ukrainian ecologist: The explosion of the Kakhovka HPP will affect Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania
  • Bulgarian about the Kakhovka disaster: There are 3-4 meters of water, and the Russian soldiers say "what are you running for, it's not like you're going to drown”
  • At least 7 people are missing after the collapse of the Kakhovka dam
  • Zelensky: We have a proposal for the delivery of F-16s
  • Snowden: I didn't want to stay in Russia, but 21 countries refused me asylum because of fear of the US

Kherson is under water, the dam explosion submerged 5 thousand houses. Ukraine wants help from the EU

The situation in the entire Kherson region is extremely difficult after the floods caused by the rupture of the dam wall of the Kahovka hydroelectric plant.

According to the statements of the Russian and Ukrainian sides, about 5,000 houses are under water in the region due to the destruction of the upper part of the Kakhovka hydropower plant. Not only the suburbs of Kherson were flooded, but also the city itself. Between 22,000 and 40,000 people are in the disaster zone.

According to local residents, "Ship Square" in Kherson was flooded. In some places, the water has reached the third floor of the houses, and the evacuation continues.

Earlier it became clear that at least seven people were missing as a result of the flood. And the occupiers continue to shell residential areas, putting many lives at risk as they try to leave the disaster zone

Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced that Ukraine has requested assistance from the EU following the destruction of the dam wall of the Kahovka HPP. The EU mechanism for civil protection has been activated and the first proposals have already been received from Germany, Austria and Lithuania, BTA reported.

Germany has offered 5,000 water filters and 56 power generators, Austria is providing drinking water and 10 water pumps. It is said that this aid is already traveling to the affected area. Lithuania and Germany have offered to provide tents, beds and blankets.

It is added that the European Emergency Action Center is in direct contact with the Ukrainian services to monitor the needs on the ground. The EU humanitarian service in Ukraine is ready to provide food and drinking water for the victims, the announcement also states.

The World Food Program of the United Nations (WFP) has warned of negative consequences for the hungry around the world due to the destruction of the Kakhovka dam wall, DPA reports.

"The large-scale floods are destroying the new crop of cereals and burning the hopes of 345 million starving people around the world, for whom Ukrainian cereals are a lifesaver," Martin Frick, head of the Berlin office of the UN program, told the agency.

However, he does not expect a new rise in food prices.

"Global food prices are still at their highest level for the last 10 years," notes the expert.

About 10,000 hectares of arable land on the north bank of the Dnieper River in Kherson Oblast are expected to be flooded, according to initial estimates by the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture.

"The southern bank of the Dnieper and its adjacent areas, which are under Russian occupation, will be repeatedly flooded," the Ministry of Agriculture of Ukraine announced on its website last night.

Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of carrying out a "terrorist attack" that led to the collapse of the dam wall.

"Flooding both banks of the Dnieper River is more advantageous from a military point of view for the Russian military, said the head of the occupation administration of the partially captured Zaporizhzhia region", Vladimir Saldo.

"It will be seen who and how will try to cross the water. From a military point of view, the situation at the moment, operationally and tactically, is in favor of the Russian armed forces," he said, quoted by Interfax.

"In any case, the plans for a counter-offensive in the Kherson region, which is expected together with the advance of the Ukrainian military in other parts of the front, will have to be adjusted," the adviser to the Ukrainian president, Mykhailo Podolyak, admitted a day ago.

According to CNN sources, the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, which caused flooding and forced the evacuation of residents of the Kherson region, could complicate some of Ukraine's plans. Namely, to make it difficult for Ukrainian troops to cross the Dnieper and attack Russian positions (not to mention the fact that the destruction of the dam created a huge humanitarian problem that the Ukrainian government would have to deal with).

Modern armies have many ways to overcome a water obstacle. Light infantry are most reliably transferred to the opposite shore using boats or helicopters. With heavy equipment, it is more difficult - most of them cannot swim or fly. In addition, a continuous supply of troops already in enemy territory must be ensured, commented the BBC.

Forcing such a large river as the Dnieper is usually understood as a whole complex of activities, which includes both the landing of troops and the construction of temporary bridges - pontoons. Such an operation must be swift and coordinated.

In general, it looks approximately as follows: at the conditional point A, equipment for transferring to the other shore is concentrated, at point B the crossing begins, at point C it is unloaded, and at point D it is deployed (in reality there are many more such points). All phases of the operation are vulnerable, and especially point A at the beginning, where a large number of vehicles accumulate while waiting for the crossing to begin, and on which the enemy will gladly open fire.

Russia shot at its own pipeline on which the grain deal depends. Moscow blamed Kyiv

Russian forces have repeatedly fired at an ammonia pipeline in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, a local governor said on Tuesday, raising concerns about the future of the Black Sea grain deal.

The UN negotiated with Kyiv and with Moscow, with the mediation of Turkey, a channel through the Black Sea, through which Ukraine can export food as a measure against the intensification of the world food crisis.

Moscow has threatened to continue the deal beyond July 17, when the current contract expires, because a promise to resume operation of the ammonia pipeline, a key ingredient in nitrate fertilizer that would allow it to export artificial fertilizers, has not been fulfilled.

The ammonia pipeline, the longest in the world, stretches about 2,470 kilometers from the Russian city of Tolyatti on the Volga River to the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Yuzhny. It was closed after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Two versions

No ammonia leaks were reported after the shelling late Tuesday that hit the pipeline near the villages of Masyutivka and Zapadno, Oleg Sinegubov, governor of Ukraine's Kharkiv region, said.

"There is no threat to people's lives and health," Sinegubov said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia later confirmed the damage to the pipeline, but blamed it on Ukrainian saboteurs.

According to the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, the damage to the pipe occurred on June 5 at 21:00 p.m. Moscow time in the area of the Kharkiv village of Masyutivka.

The spokesman stated that there were injured from the local population who were given assistance.

"Currently, ammonia residues from Ukrainian territory are being drained through the damaged sections of the pipeline," Konashenkov also stated.

Reuters reports that it could not verify whether or to what extent the pipeline was affected.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday that repairs to the damaged pipeline would take one to three months.

The stake is the grain deal

Moscow gave an ultimatum in late May that it would not agree to a new extension of the Black Sea Grain Corridor agreement unless the United Nations met its conditions for easing Western sanctions and opening the ammonia pipeline.

Although Russian food and fertilizer exports are not subject to Western sanctions, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance are a barrier to supplies.

Ukraine says the deal does not cover the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukraine, but that Kyiv is willing to consider allowing it if it is expanded to include more ports and goods.

Russia acknowledges this, but believes that the transit of ammonia, "although not described literally, is implied by the logic of the agreement".

Until the ammonia pipeline is up and running, Moscow has said it will limit the number of vessels allowed to travel to Yuzhny (Pivdenny) port under the Black Sea agreement, the UN said.

UN figures show that no ship has visited the port for more than three weeks.

Under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a joint coordination center in Istanbul, staffed by officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, approves vessels to be registered for loading in Ukraine and conducts inbound and outbound inspections in Turkish waters.

The grain deal was concluded in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, with the participation of the United Nations, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. The agreement provides for the creation of a corridor for the export of grain from three Ukrainian ports (Chernomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny), as well as for the removal of barriers to the export of Russian food and fertilizers. The initiative was extended in November 2022 by 120 days and by another 60 days in March and May.

Erdogan told Zelensky that an international commission could be formed to investigate the destruction of the dam near Nova Kakhovka

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call today that an international commission could be formed to investigate the destruction of the dam wall of the large Kakhovka dam on the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces, Reuters reported.

Erdogan told Zelensky that a negotiation method similar to the Black Sea Grain Corridor could be used to resolve the dam case, according to a statement from Erdogan's press office.

More than 42,000 people are at risk after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam

More than 42,000 people are at risk of flooding in Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-controlled areas along the Dnieper River after the dam wall collapsed. The UN Security Council convened to discuss what had happened. The dam also supplies water to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, as well as to the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which is also under Russian control.

At least seven people are missing after waters from the destroyed dam flooded nearby areas, the city's Moscow-appointed mayor, Vladimir Leontiev, said. The city administration said that the water level in Nova Kakhovka started to drop this morning.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that the organization does not have independent information about the circumstances surrounding the incident. However, he pointed out that the UN and its partners are already sending aid in coordination with the government in Kyiv, including clean drinking water and tablets to purify contaminated water.

Guterres' deputy for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, said the dam's destruction was a major blow to food production in the area. It also carries the risk of mines and explosives being carried by the water into other areas previously thought to be safe.

After the explosion, which occurred at 3:00 a.m. the previous night, the Dnieper River rose its level, and settlements close to the dam, which are a likely target of a Ukrainian counteroffensive, were flooded. Thousands of people were forced to flee. And Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the collapse of the wall of the huge dam.

An immediate and maximum response to Russian terror is needed”, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In a special address to the world, he said that such an environmental crime cannot happen as a result of mere shelling.

Earlier, Zelensky stated that the destruction of the Kakhovka Reservoir testifies that the Russian side intends to escape from Crimea:

"We will find a way to restore normal life in our country after the expulsion of the Russian occupiers. The fact that Russia deliberately destroyed the water reservoir, which is critically important, especially for the water supply of Crimea, shows that the occupiers have already realized that they will have to flee from there."

Demolition of the Kakhovka dam wall will not affect Ukrainian military plans, Zelensky also said.

The Kremlin called the explosion at the dam "planned sabotage" and rejected accusations that the Russian military was involved in the incident. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Ukrainians blew up the dam to prevent an advance by the Russian army against their positions on the west bank of the Dnieper.

Ukrainian ecologist: The explosion of the Kakhovka HPP will affect Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania

The explosion of the Kakhovka HPP will affect Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania. This was announced at a briefing by the head of the public organization "Green Letter", Vladislav Balinsky, UNIAN reported.

"The consequences of the Russian terrorist attack - the explosion of the wall of the Nova Kakhovka dam - will have a global ecological consequence on the Black Sea region. The unique natural ecosystem of the Dnieper floodplain - from Nova Kakhovka to the Dnieper-Bug estuary - has actually been destroyed," he added.

According to him, we’re talking about more than 80 thousand hectares, a natural territory protected by law - it is part of the Lower Dniester National Nature Park

"Hundreds of islets, areas with unique floodplain forests, water meadows and steppe areas will disappear. Now is the season of mating, the period of nesting... Hundreds of species of living organisms will die, of which 71 species of animals and 32 species of plants are included in the World Red List, the Red Book of Ukraine and others," the ecologist pointed out.

The scale and consequences of the pollution of the Black Sea, the impact on organisms and people's health will have to be assessed separately, the specialist emphasizes. Therefore, he foresees dire consequences for Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania.

Bulgarian about the Kakhovka disaster: There are 3-4 meters of water, and the Russian soldiers say "what are you running for, it's not like you're going to drown”

The Bulgarian Petar Chumanov evacuated from Ukraine, but his relatives remained there. "My relatives are on the left bank of the Dnieper River, in the occupied territory - the town of Oleshky. There is 3-4 meters of water there at the moment. One floor of their houses is submerged. People are hiding on the upper floors and on the roofs, and the water continues to come. Everyone is crying, the Russian authorities are doing nothing, and the soldiers are telling them: ‘Why are you running, it's not like you're going to drown’. This is genocide, terrorism. People cannot leave the occupied territories. The current is fast, it overturns boats. There are mines that explode every two or three minutes. On the right bank, which is under Ukrainian control, people have been evacuated," he said to Nova TV.

According to him, no one knows how many victims there are in the occupied territory. "Today is expected to be the peak of the water, and then it will start to fall," explained Chumanov.

At least 7 people are missing after the collapse of the Kakhovka dam

At least seven people are missing after waters from the destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam flooded nearby areas, the Moscow-appointed mayor of Nova Kakhovka said, quoted by Russian news agency TASS and Reuters.

"We know for sure about seven people (that are missing)," said the mayor of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, quoted by TASS. More than 900 people were evacuated on Tuesday from the Russian-controlled city of about 45,000 people, which is located on the left bank of the Dnieper River.

Ukrainian officials said about 80 settlements across the Kherson region were at risk of flooding.

The oblast’s Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Wednesday that 1,582 houses were flooded on the right bank of the Dnieper River and about 1,457 people were evacuated overnight.

Earlier, Prokudin said that one civilian was killed and one was wounded in the past 24 hours as a result of Russian shelling in the region and the city of Kherson itself.

"The situation is most severe in the Korabelny region of Kherson. Currently, the water level has risen by 3.5 meters, over a thousand houses are flooded," said Oleksiy Kuleba, deputy head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as quoted by AFP and BTA.

The evacuations will continue today and in the coming days - they are carried out by buses and trains, explained Kuleba.

"There is a danger that more than 40,000 people will suffer from the floods. The Ukrainian authorities are evacuating more than 17,000 people. Unfortunately, more than 25,000 people are in the territory under Russian control," said Ukraine's prosecutor general Andriy Kostin yesterday.

"So far, 24 settlements in Ukraine have been flooded," Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said.

The Russian-appointed authorities in the occupied territory, which is threatened by flooding, said they were evacuating residents of three settlements.

It is possible that agricultural lands in southern Ukraine will be deserted next year as a result of the floods, the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture announced yesterday, as quoted by DPA. Negative consequences are expected for irrigation systems, drinking water and fish farms.

Zelensky: We have a proposal for the delivery of F-16s

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said a "serious and strong offer" for the supply of F-16 fighter jets had been received from the leaders of allied countries, Reuters reported.

He added that they came from "key allies," without elaborating.

"Our allies know exactly how many (planes) we need," Zelensky said in a statement posted on his website. The Ukrainian president noted that "some of our European partners" have indicated specific numbers.

Zelensky added that Kyiv now expects a final agreement with its allies, including a "joint agreement with the United States."

However, it is not yet clear which allies are ready to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, writes "Reuters".

In May, Britain and the Netherlands announced they were putting together a coalition of countries willing to donate their planes to Kyiv and begin pilot training.

The US initially opposed the request, but President Joe Biden later said Washington would get involved in pilot training. On the delivery, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that no final decision had been made.

US permission to send planes to Ukraine is necessary because they are the manufacturer of the machines.

A New Stage: The F-16 and Nuclear Weapons

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Tuesday that Moscow would take it as a sign of an escalation in the conflict if Kyiv received aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

"We have to keep in mind that one of the F-16 modifications can 'carry' nuclear weapons," Lavrov said in a speech at a Russian military base in Tajikistan.

"If they don't understand that, then they are useless as military strategists and planners," he said.

White House spokesman John Kirby today declined to discuss the nuclear capabilities of the F-16 fighter jets, but assured that President Biden does not want the war to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

"The purpose of providing modern fighter jets is to help Ukraine defend itself, defend its airspace and its territorial integrity," Kirby said. Kirby also sent a message to Lavrov: "If you are worried about Ukrainian military potential, then you should take your troops and leave Ukraine."

Snowden: I didn't want to stay in Russia, but 21 countries refused me asylum because of fear of the US

Former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden has said that no country other than Russia has been able to guarantee him safe political asylum. Snowden said that he did not initially plan to stay in Russia and wanted to go to Latin America.

The former NSA official said that he initially intended to move to Europe, but all the diplomats he discussed this with dissuaded him and gave him no guarantees. "But as soon as I left China, there was a leak. The US government found out that I was heading to Russia without any means of communication. I landed in Russia and the border guard told me that my passport was 'not working,'" he told the journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Edward Snowden spent 40 days in the Sheremetyevo transit zone and during that time applied for asylum in 21 countries. According to him, the representatives of several countries have admitted that they are afraid of the reaction of the United States and do not want to intervene. In the smaller countries, "they answered him that they are ready to accept him, but they don't think that they can really provide him with security", he adds.

"So when there were no other options left, I applied for asylum in Russia and I got it. And since then I've been left alone and that's all I could have asked for under the circumstances," Snowden added.

Edward Snowden arrived in Russia in 2013 after revealing to journalists from The Washington Post and The Guardian that US intelligence services were using PRISM to electronically spy on American citizens. Edward Snowden is facing up to 30 years in prison in the US for disclosing classified information. In September 2022, President Vladimir Putin granted Snowden Russian citizenship. In December of the same year, the American received a Russian passport.

Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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