After the destruction of an important dam on the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday that about 10,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Kherson region are expected to be flooded, according to preliminary estimates.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on its website that the flooding was expected to be worse on the southern bank of the river.

Detailed information will be released in the coming days when the ministry has a clearer picture of the situation.

“Moreover, the disaster of destroying the dam will impede the access of water to 31 fields irrigation networks in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture said.

“The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station will mean that the fields in southern Ukraine will turn into a desert early next year,” the statement added.

Drinking water supplies in the populated area may also be affected.

In addition, the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture said it expected negative impacts on fisheries.

The dam was destroyed on Tuesday in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, which is controlled by Russia.

The Kremlin accused Kiev of destroying the dam.

While Ukraine and many international observers believe, that Russia blew up the dam in order to block the Ukrainian counterattack.

Massive evacuations of residents continue in southern Ukraine on Wednesday after the partial destruction of the Kakhovka Dam, which caused floods that swamped a number of small towns along the Dnieper River, while accusations continued to be exchanged between Moscow and Kiev of blowing it up.

“A difficult situation is taking place in the Korabelny district of Kherson,” said Oleksiy Kuleba, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office.

He explained that “the water level has risen so far by 3.5 meters, and more than a thousand houses have been flooded in this city, which the Ukrainians recovered from the Russians in November 2022”.

He added that the evacuations of the residents of the area will continue on Wednesday and in the coming days, by buses and trains.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday afternoon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths described the destruction of the dam as a catastrophe “the full scale of which can only be assessed in the coming days” but whose consequences would be “serious and far-reaching” on both sides of the front line.

Griffiths said, “The damage resulting from the destruction of the dam means that life will become unbearable harsher for those who are mainly suffering from the conflict,” stressing that “the consequences of the inability to provide assistance to the millions affected by the floods in these areas may be catastrophic”.

Before the emergency meeting, which was held at the request of Ukraine, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres considered that the partial destruction of Alice is “a new devastating consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

“The United Nations has not obtained independent information about the circumstances that led to the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam hydroelectric power station, but one thing is clear: this is another devastating consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he told reporters.

“Today’s tragedy is a new example of the heavy price of war on the population,” he added.

In addition, the governor of the Ukrainian region of Kherson said that the Russian forces bombed the region several times during the past day, killing one person and injuring another.

Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram that the bombing included the city of Kherson.

In the same context, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that he had received a “serious and strong” offer from leaders of countries willing to supply Kiev with F16 fighter jets and that he was waiting to finalize deals with key allies.

According to his statement, Zelensky added, “Our partners know how many aircraft we need… There is already an understanding on the number with some of our European partners… It’s a serious and strong offer”.

Zelensky said Kiev was now awaiting final agreements with its allies, including “a joint agreement with the United States”.

It’s not yet clear which of Kiev’s allies are willing to send the planes to Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders last month that Washington supports joint training programs organized by allies for Ukrainian F16 pilots.

However, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said there was no final decision yet regarding Washington sending the F16s.

Zelensky has long demanded the provision of F16s to his country, and says that the use of them by Ukrainian pilots would be assurance from the world that the Russian invasion would end in defeat.

Russia said on Tuesday that US-made F16 fighters could be modified to carry nuclear weapons and warned that supplying them to Kiev would exacerbate the conflict.

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