For Zelenski, the attack on the dam is an "ecological bomb for mass destruction"
The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has sparked fears of an environmental disaster. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky describes the situation as an "ecological bomb of mass destruction".
The water level continued to rise today after the dam and the hydroelectric plant were destroyed yesterday. Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes. The water floods cities, villages and agricultural lands and threatens key water sources.
Kiev and Moscow accuse each other of destroying the dam, without providing concrete evidence that the other side is to blame. It is not yet clear whether the dam was intentionally destroyed or there was structural damage.
Zelensky said Russia bears "criminal responsibility" and Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating the dam incident as a case of "ecocide."
"The consequences of the tragedy will be clear in a week, when the water disappears, it will become clear what is left and what will happen next," said Zelenski.
Attention now shifts to the danger to people, animals, agricultural lands, settlements and water sources. Contamination with industrial chemicals and motor oil that leaked from the hydroelectric plant into the Dnieper River is possible.
The president of the Ukrainian hydropower company told CNN that the environmental impact of the outage would be "significant" and that damaged equipment at the plant could leak engine oil.