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Kremlin accuses Ukraine of shelling Russian rescuers in dam flood zone

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Thursday accused Ukraine of shelling Russian rescue workers in the area flooded after the huge Kakhovka dam in Ukraine’s Kherson region was breached earlier this week

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian rescue workers in the area were working hard, but said the Ukrainian military was making their work more dangerous.

“The difficulty is that in a lot of places they (the rescuers) are forced to work in conditions of ongoing shelling from Ukraine, and this complicates their work,” Peskov told reporters.

He did not provide any immediate evidence for his assertion.

Ukrainian officials on Wednesday accused Russian forces of shelling rescue workers on the Kyiv-held right (west) bank of the Dnipro river. Moscow controls the left (east) bank.

The breach of the Kakhovka dam on Tuesday has led to massive flooding of the Dnipro river estuary downstream, with thousands evacuated and settlements on both side of the river inundated by water.

Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin was monitoring the situation in the region, but did not currently have any plans to visit the disaster area.

(Reporting by Reuters reporters; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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