Ukraine: Volunteers search for survivors in flooded town
Russian forces have been shelling Ukrainian civilians as they attempt to escape the flooded region of Kherson after a critical dam was blown up by Vladimir Putin, Ukraine has claimed. Families have been frantically attempting to flee their homes in rubber boats, all while attempting to dodge Russian troops’ shells as they search for safety.
One person has died, and more have been wounded due to the “targeted” strikes, the Ukraine Prosecutor General has said.
The shelling began “precisely during the evacuation of citizens whose homes were flooded”, the minister claims.
Yevhen Ryschuk, the mayor of Oleski, wrote on Telegram: “Orcs have just fired at the school building where people from flooded homes were gathering.”
Local reports say that residential buildings have also been damaged.
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The flooded regions have been repeatedly targeted by Russian shells
Floating landmines brought to the surface due to the floods are also a concern, and a German fire and rescue worker told Sky News: “I’ve never seen anything this big.”
In one petrifying video a 93-year-old man is hit by shrapnel while he is being rescued by a boat from his home, which had been ravaged by the flood in the city.
Mere seconds before the man had been grinning and thanking the people who came to his rescue, who were lovingly calling him father.
The man said: “I’ve survived one war already. Now I’m surviving a second one in my old age.”
Numerous explosions went off close to the boat, and he was left clutching his head as blood poured.
Rescuers said he has received medical help and is safe.
A Kherson rescuer told The Sun that worried citizens are being targeted as they look for safety.
A 93-year-old was hit by shrapnel whilst being rescued by a boat from his home
The rescue workers indicated that the extreme shelling could be linked to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Kherson visit following the sabotage attack on the Nova Khakhovka Dam earlier this week.
He said: “Heavy shelling has hit the flooded region where people were evacuating on rubber boats.
“A residential building was hit badly; nobody has been allowed to go to the building, as ordered by the military.
“I spoke with locals and they had been speaking with relatives who are still in the flooded regions and people were crying, in a state of shock.”
He clarified that people were hiding behind high-rise buildings during the sporadic shellings.
Despite the concerning attacks on escaping citizens, the rescue worker said that some residents have been out on the streets like “nothing was happening” due to what has become the normality of the shelling.
President Zelensky visited Kherson following the attack earlier this week
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A video filmed while civilians were attempting to escape shows a resident screaming as a roof of a high-rise building explodes after being targeted with a shell.
A terrifying video showed a pair of men navigating a rubber boat when a shell suddenly landed mere metres away from their boat.
Southern Ukraine’s flood waters have become contaminated with corpses as a result of the dam breaking.
A rescuer in Kherson said: “Our water comes from the Dnipro – but now the cemeteries are flooded, so it’s not safe to drink.
“Also there is oil in the water, the remnants of the power plant, and the mines.
“There is a lot of water now in the city – but there is no drinking safe water.”
Many residents have been left stranded and awaiting for rescue due to the flooding and shelling
The state of affairs are only becoming more grave on the Russian side of the Dnipro River, with authorities refusing to assist civilians stranded on their roofs.
A rescuer explained: “The Russians’ so-called government is not doing anything to save these people who are stuck on their roofs.
“They are going to drown in hours, and there is nothing we can do.”
The current rescue effort for the thousands of people stuck on their roofs with no water becomes more serious with each second.
Drones have been used to access those who are unable to escape their homes by air dropping water bottles to them.
Zelensky said during his visit to Kherson earlier today that Ukraine needs a “clear and quick response from the world” following the attack.