Rescue operations continue in Ukraine, where at least eight deaths have been reported from flooding caused by Tuesday’s breach of the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River. The U.N. warns the breach could lead to the spread of waterborne diseases, and the Red Cross warns floodwaters have dislodged countless landmines, which will pose a threat to civilians for decades to come. The breach is draining a reservoir that supplies water to more than a million acres of Ukraine’s most fertile and productive farmland.
Earlier today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky toured flood-ravaged areas, accusing Russian forces of shelling rescue workers trying to reach survivors. Zelensky also denied his government took part in sabotaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines, after The Washington Post reported a small team of divers under the command of Ukraine’s military staged the undersea bombing of the pipelines last September.
Meanwhile, officials in Moscow and Kyiv blamed one another for damaging a pipeline used to transport ammonia fertilizer from Russia to Ukraine. The damage could prevent the renewal of the Black Sea grain export deal.
This all comes as Ukraine’s military claimed its forces have made incremental advances along the eastern front. On Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected calls to negotiate an immediate ceasefire with Russia.
Dmytro Kuleba: “Every peace plan should not lead to freezing of the conflict, because those who think that the urgent task is to freeze the conflict and then to see how to fix it afterwards, they are wrong. They don’t understand the logic of this war.”