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Ukraine dam collapse: 42,000 at risk from flooding, several make desperate escape; UN warns of ‘grave consequences’

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Hours after a major dam and hydroelectric power plant in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine suffered a collapse early Tuesday, a mass evacuation process began for around 42,000 people who were at risk from flooding.

As Ukraine accused Moscow’s forces of committing an act of “ecocide”, the United Nations aid chief warned of “grave and far-reaching consequences.”

Ukraine said Russia committed a deliberate war crime in blowing up the Soviet-era Nova Kakhovka dam, which powered a hydroelectric station. The Kremlin blamed Ukraine, saying it was trying to distract from the launch of a major counteroffensive Moscow says is faltering, news agency Reuters reported.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council that the dam breach “will have grave and far-reaching consequences for thousands of people in southern Ukraine on both sides of the front line through the loss of homes, food, safe water and livelihoods.”

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