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UN Says Russia Still Blocking Aid to Dam Breach Victims

Local residents are evacuated from a flood-affected area in southern Ukraine's Russia-occupied Kherson region. Video grab. Best quality available. Russia Emergencies Ministry/TASS

The United Nations accused Russia on Sunday of continuing to block humanitarian aid deliveries to Moscow-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine that have been impacted by the recent Kakhovka dam rupture.

The breach of the dam on June 6 inundated huge swathes of the Kherson region under Russian and Ukrainian control, forcing thousands to flee and sparking fears of an environmental disaster.

"The Government of the Russian Federation has so far declined our request to access the areas under its temporary military control," the UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, said in a statement Sunday.

"The UN will continue to do all it can to reach all people — including those suffering as a result of the recent dam destruction — who urgently need life-saving assistance, no matter where they are," Brown said.

"We urge the Russian authorities to act in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law," she added.

On Saturday, officials in the Russian-held areas announced that the death toll from the dam breach had risen to 29, while Kyiv said the number killed in its territory rose to 16, with 31 still missing.

Kyiv has accused Moscow of blowing up the dam on the Dnipro River, while Russia has blamed Ukraine.

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