Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up a major dam and hydroelectric power station near Kherson and warned of widespread flooding, which can displace hundreds of thousands of people.
Due to widespread flow, the Ukrainian officials also ordered residents downriver to evacuate the areas as soon as possible.
According to Ukrainian and Russian officials, the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has been destroyed, endangering areas downstream along the Dnieper River, also known as the Dnipro River, with flooding.
According to Ukraine’s state hydropower utility, an explosion inside the engine room “totally destroyed” the power plant.
“The Russian occupying forces blew up the reservoir,” the South Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Tuesday.
“The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified.”
While an unnamed Russian government official quoted by the Russian news outlet Tass that the Kakhovka dam “collapsed” due to damage.
In the past, Ukraine and Russia have accused one another of planning attacks to damage the dam. In October of last year, Mr Zelensky warned that Russia would destroy the dam to cause a flood.
Five of the six dams along the Dnipro River, which flows from Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus to the Black Sea and is crucial for the country’s power and drinking water supplies, are under the control of Ukraine.
The Kherson region’s Kakhovka dam, the one farther downstream, is under Russian control.