JAKARTA - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for accountability after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine on Tuesday.
The collapse of the dam in southern Ukraine caused flooding in Nova Kakhovka, as well as 80 other cities and villages along the Dnipro River, which caused the evacuation of thousands of people, while Moscow and Kyiv blamed each other.
"This tragedy is another example of the terrible price of war on humans," Guterres told reporters in New York.
"The door to flood of suffering has been overflowing for more than a year, and it must be stopped," he said.
Furthermore, he warned of additional threats to Europe's largest nuclear complex, PLTN Zaporizhia.
"Attacks on civilians and critical civilian infrastructure must be stopped," Guterres stressed.
"And we must act to ensure accountability and respect for international humanitarian law," he said.
The UN secretary-general said it had no access to independent information about the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, but "one thing is clear: this is another devastating consequence of Russia's invasion of Ukraine".
"At least 16,000 people have lost their homes, with a safe and clean supply of drinking water at risk for thousands more," Guterres said.
He said the world body was coordinating with the Ukrainian government for the distribution of aid.
Separately, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, blamed Kyiv for "deliberate sabotage" against the dam, saying it could "be essentially classified as a war crime or acts of terrorism".
"Attacks on objects that contain dangerous forces are strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law," Nebenzya said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Russia of "terrorist acts against Ukraine's important infrastructure", adding that "physically impossible to escape with shootings".