On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the Nova Kakhovka dam sabotage for the first time in public comments blaming the Ukrainian government and military for the “barbaric act.” Putin’s comments came after the Russian defense and foreign ministries had accused Ukraine of the “catastrophic” attack.
Putin made the remarks during his first phone call with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan since his re-election. While Putin congratulated the leader, the conversation quickly turned to the dam sabotage that has had a devastating impact on both Crimea and southern Ukraine as officials work to continue rescue and evacuation efforts for thousands of people affected by the resulting flood. Local authorities in the region have said that flooding could potentially continue for up to 10 days, according to a ZeroHedge report.
Putin told Erdogan that the dam disaster was “a barbaric act which has led to a large-scale environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.” Both leaders agreed to keep communication open. According to the Kremlin readout, “It has been agreed to maintain regular personal dialogue.”
The same day he spoke with Putin about the calamity, Erdogan also had a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during which he expressed his support for an investigation into the event by an independent commission with the backing of the UN.
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A readout from the call noted that “President Erdogan aid that a commission could be established with the participation of experts from the warring parties, the United Nations and the international community, including Turkey, for a detailed investigation into the explosion at Kakhovka dam.”
It is still unclear which of the two warring nations is responsible for the dam breach, but the White House press pool has become weary of Kyiv’s allegations that Russia is responsible for the explosion that caused the dam to collapse.
A journalist assigned to the White House asked, “Does it really seem plausible to you that Russia destroyed the dam, thereby flooding the settlements where ethnic Russians live, and at the same time cutting off the water supply to Crimea? In my opinion, there is no more logic here than in undermining your own gas pipeline, don’t you think?”
“We haven’t come to a conclusion yet. We are working with the Ukrainian side and trying to get as much information as possible,” White House NSC spokesman, John Kirby, answered.
Given that many observers suspect Ukraine of sabotage, it is possible that Kyiv will not want a thorough investigation of the breach by the UN or any other entity. Meanwhile, the dam collapse has come the same week that the Washington Post reported that according to leaked Pentagon documents, the Ukrainian military had been planning the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage for 3 months before the attack was executed.
- Nova Kakhovka Dam Blown Up: Thousands Flee Rising Water
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