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Ukraine Rescue Worker Killed, 8 Injured by Russian Fire in Kherson – Minister

Rescuers from Ukraine's State Emergency Service help evacuate a local resident from a flooded area in the city of Kherson. Genya Savilov / AFP

Ukraine said Tuesday that one rescue worker was killed and several others were injured by Russian forces in the southern city of Kherson, which was recently flooded after the breach of a major dam nearby.

Kyiv, which says Russia blew up the Kakhovka dam earlier this month, has repeatedly accused Moscow of shelling rescue efforts and evacuation boats in the Kherson region. 

The destruction of the dam caused devastating floods in southern Ukraine. 

"One employee of the State Emergency Service dead, another eight were injured in Kherson," Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on social media, adding that the team was involved in clean-up efforts in the wake of the flood.

Klymenko said the team was "conducting restoration work" when Russian forces opened fire on them. 

Presidential aide Andriy Yermak said seven state emergency workers were injured in the shelling, six of which were in "serious condition."

Yermak said the workers were "clearing mud" in the area. 

On Monday, Kyiv said the death toll from the floods on the Ukraine-controlled side of the Dnipro River rose to 18 and that 31 people were still missing.

"Fourteen (died) from drowning, four from gunshot wounds during evacuation," the interior ministry said in a statement. 

Russian state media, citing sources, reported Tuesday that as many as 38 people were killed in Moscow-occupied southern Ukraine. 

"According to the latest numbers, 38 people were victims (of the flood)," the TASS news agency cited emergency services as saying. 

Moscow denies blowing up the dam that was under its control, accusing Kyiv of deliberately shelling the Soviet-era structure. 

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