Kyiv~ A regional official said three people were killed when Moscow troops opened fire on a boat evacuating people from Russian-occupied areas to Ukrainian-held territory along a flooded front line far to the north. south. The Ukrainian army announced that it had taken over a village in the south-east on Sunday. Russia’s 16-month war in Ukraine’s most recent upheaval and bloodshed has been the Battle of the Southeast and dramatic images of waterlogged southern Ukraine.
On his Telegram feed, Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said a 74-year-old man who sought to defend a woman died in the attack on evacuees, which injured 10. An Associated team Press observed three ambulances dropping off injured refugees at a hospital, including one who was drenched in blood and rushed to the emergency room. Since the dam burst last week, the Dnieper River has flooded Kherson, something Ukraine and Russia blame each other for.
Russian soldiers control the eastern riverside areas. Many residents claimed that Russian authorities in occupied areas forced evacuees to show their Russian passports before transporting them to safety. Since then, many small boats from Ukrainian-held districts on the western bank have crossed the river to rescue desperate citizens trapped on rooftops, attics and other dry places. Ukrainian forces said they expelled Russian fighters from Blahodatne, a partially held Donetsk settlement, about halfway up the 1,000 kilometer (600 mile) front line. Ukraine’s 68th Separate Fighter Brigade shared a video on Facebook of soldiers placing a Ukrainian flag on a destroyed village building.
Ukrhydroenergo, Ukraine’s hydroelectric generator, reported on Sunday that water levels in a reservoir above the broken Kakhovka dam had fallen to 9.35 meters (30ft, 6in) by Sunday morning, a drop of more than seven meters since the dam broke on Tuesday. Prokudin said water levels on the western bank under Ukrainian control were falling, although more than 32 towns remained submerged. He said conditions were worse on the Russian-occupied eastern side, which is lower and water levels are declining more slowly. On Sunday, the Russian military accused Ukraine of unsuccessfully targeting one of its ships in the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry said six unmanned speedboats attacked the Russian reconnaissance vessel Priazovye, which “was monitoring the situation and providing security along the routes of the TurkStream and Blue Stream gas pipelines in the southeastern part of the black Sea”. The ministry said the Russian military destroyed all the speedboats and the ship was unharmed. Ukrainian officials have not commented on this claim.
On Sunday, Russia released 94 of its soldiers and Yermak released 95 Ukrainians. According to his deputy Nikolai Pankov, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu issued a rule requiring all volunteer groups to sign contracts with the ministry by July 1. The idea would give formations legal status and state benefits like contract soldiers. Observers believe that this decision targets the private military company Wagner. Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has a long-standing conflict with the Russian military, said on Sunday the company would not sign such contracts “precisely because Shoigu cannot normally handle military formations.”