Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that Russia targeted the Karachunivske Reservoir, adding that it had no military value and the strikes would only impact local civilians.
The strikes destroyed a water pumping station and flooded the embankments, which are just a few meters from residential buildings, according to Ukrainian legislator Inna Sovsun.
Emergency services and rescuers worked overnight and into Thursday, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk region’s civil military administration said in a Telegram post. Valentyn Reznichenko said teams had done an “incredible job.”
Water levels in the Inhulets River have now dropped by 50 centimeters (20 inches) after rising suddenly Wednesday, Andrii Kurach, head of the State Emergency Service of the Dnipropetrovsk region, said Thursday.
“The Karachunivske Reservoir is huge — there was a threat of a great flood. But thanks to coordinated actions, it was averted,” said Oleksandr Vilkul, head of the Kryvyi Rih civil military administration.
‘Weaklings waging war on civilians’
Following the attack, Zelensky delivered a pointed message to Moscow in which he referred to the Russian military as “weaklings.”
“History is written by people, never by savages. Who will you remain in history? All those who launch these missiles. Those who came to our land. Weaklings. You are weaklings waging a war against civilians,” he added.
“Scoundrels who, having fled the battlefield, are trying to do harm from somewhere far away. You will remain terrorists whom their own grandchildren will be ashamed of.”