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Zelensky ‘in shock’ over lack of international aid for dam disaster

Ukraine president says 'not the time' for elections
Source: Video Screenshot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday expressed dismay at a lack of help from the UN and Red Cross with the fallout from the destruction of the Russian-occupied Kakhovka dam.

“They are not there,” Zelensky said in English in an interview with Germany’s Bild daily, adding that he was “in shock because I think they are the forces who have to be there to save people’s lives”.

The destruction of the dam near the front line in Ukraine has flooded dozens of villages and parts of a nearby city, sparking fears of a humanitarian disaster.

Officials have said thousands will have to leave their homes and many are already doing so under their own steam.

Later in the interview, speaking Ukrainian, Zelensky said “people and animals have died” in the disaster, according to a German interpreter.

“From the roofs of the flooded houses, people see drowned people floating by,” he said.

It was difficult to get people out of the occupied Kherson region, he added.

“When our forces try to get them out, they are shot at by occupiers from a distance.”

Zelensky said he had shared intelligence with Ukraine’s international partners a year ago showing there was a risk of the dam being targeted.

“We shared this information with our partners and all of them said yes, the risk is very high that the dam is going to be blown up,” he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he will chair a meeting Thursday of an emergency coordination panel with Ukraine on the “outrageous destruction” of the dam.

France has also said it will send aid to Ukraine.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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