Floods Ravage Russia: 300 Homes Submerged in Southern City


Over 300 homes in Orenburg, a city nestled in southern Russia, have been submerged in floodwaters as the Ural River, fueled by rapidly melting snow from the Ural Mountains, continues to rise, posing a dire threat to over 100,000 residents.

Authorities issued a stern warning overnight, declaring the situation as perilous and ordering the evacuation of over 100,000 residents by Wednesday evening. The Ural River, ranking as Europe’s third-longest, breached its critical level of 30 feet late Tuesday, climbing by an additional 20 inches. The river’s relentless flow toward the Caspian Sea raises concerns of further devastation through Thursday.

Russian-Controlled Nuclear Plant Accuses Ukraine of Drone Strike

Officials at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, situated in southern Ukraine, have accused Ukraine of launching yet another drone attack. According to the claims, an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed into a training center roof.

Ukraine, however, has firmly denied any involvement in recent drone strikes targeting Europe’s largest nuclear facility. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed alarm over nuclear safety concerns in response to the alleged attacks.

While Moscow has repeatedly pinned the blame on Ukraine, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence service denied any military actions or provocations, asserting that Ukraine does not engage in such activities targeting nuclear facilities.

Ukraine Defends Against Drone and Missile Attacks

Amidst ongoing tensions, Ukraine’s air force effectively intercepted 14 of 17 Shahed drones launched by Russia toward the southern port city of Odesa. Additionally, two Kh-59 guided missiles were shot down by air defense forces, according to the Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Mykola Oleschuk.

Surge in Civilian Casualties in Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported a 20% increase in the number of civilian deaths and injuries during the month of March compared to February, signaling a grim escalation in the conflict.

The report documented at least 604 civilian casualties, including 57 children, a number that doubled compared to the previous month. The sharp increase is primarily attributed to Russian missile attacks and loitering munitions strikes across Ukraine, alongside intensified aerial bombardments near the frontline.

Russia Excluded from Proposed Ukraine Summit

Russian officials have confirmed that they have not received an invitation to the planned Ukraine summit scheduled to take place in Switzerland. The conference aims to facilitate discussions on potential approaches to conflict resolution, likely including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s proposed 10-point peace formula.

Despite Zelenskyy’s efforts to garner participation from 80 to 100 countries and the possibility of finalizing a date within days or weeks, Russia has dismissed the summit as a non-viable endeavor without their participation.

Civilian Deaths in Russian Village Amid Ukrainian Shelling

A tragic incident occurred in the western Russian village of Klimovo, near the border with Ukraine and Belarus, where a woman and a child sadly lost their lives due to Ukrainian shelling. Three other civilians sustained injuries and received medical attention.

Local authorities reported the damage to several vehicles and a residential building resulting from the attack. CNBC was unable to independently verify the incident.

Urgent Evacuations Amid Historic Flooding in Russia and Kazakhstan

In response to the severe flooding in Russia and Kazakhstan, authorities in both countries have initiated the evacuation of over 100,000 people to escape the rising waters. The Ural Mountains, Siberia, and regions near rivers like the Ural and Tobol have experienced unprecedented flooding, with water levels reaching all-time highs.

The situation worsened when an embankment dam on the Ural River burst, inundating the city of Orsk. Downstream in Orenburg, waters continue to rise, leading to evacuation orders. Sirens blared in Kurgan, an evacuation call was issued, and an emergency declared in the oil-producing region of Tyumen.

The Kremlin warns of challenging times ahead for the Kurgan and Tyumen regions due to the overwhelming flow of water.