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Zelensky says there are ‘a lot of problems’ as rescue operation continues after dam collapse

(Credit: Office of the President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday “there are a lot of problems” as rescue operations continue in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions after a major dam collapsed.

“We are working to surpass them on every possible level,” Zelensky added in his evening speech. He gave no further details.
Amid reports of increased fighting in the south of the country, Zelensky said: “For our soldiers, for all those who are in particularly difficult battles these days. We see your heroism and we are with you. grateful for every minute of your life”.

The president also thanked the United States for a new security assistance package worth more than $2 billion. He said the package will secure “missiles for the Patriots and other air defense systems, bolstering our defense on the ground, bolstering the strength of all of our soldiers.”

A bit of context: the collapse of Nova Kakhovka is one of Europe’s biggest industrial and ecological disasters in decades.

The Kajovka Canal has provided water to more than half a million hectares of land, and it could take up to seven years to restore irrigation, according to the Minister of Food and Agrarian Policy, Mykola Solskyi.

It is unclear whether the collapse was the result of a deliberate attack or a structural failure, but United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described the destruction as “another devastating consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.