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Erdoğan floats dam probe in Zelensky, Putin calls

This general view shows a partially flooded area of Kherson on June 6, 2023, following damage sustained at Kakhovka hydroelectric dam. The partial destruction on June 6 of a major Russian-held dam in southern Ukraine unleashed a torrent of water that sent people fleeing flooding on the war's front line. Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for ripping a gaping hole in the Kakhovka dam as expectations built over the start of Ukraine's long-awaited offensive. (Photo by Oleg TUCHYNSKY / AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed setting up an international commission to investigate the destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam in calls with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, his office said Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

Moscow and Kyiv have traded blame for the breaching of the hydroelectric dam, which was ripped open early Tuesday by a reported blast.

Erdoğan said “a commission could be established with the participation of experts from the warring parties, the United Nations and the international community, including Turkey, for a detailed investigation into the explosion,” his office said after the call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Erdoğan made the same proposal during a separate call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Turkey was ready to do its part.

He told Putin that “it is important to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the explosion at the Kakhovka dam in a way that leaves no room for suspicion.”

The dam sits on the Dnipro River, which feeds a reservoir providing cooling water for the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Europe’s largest, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) upstream.

The destruction of the dam has forced thousands of civilians to flee as huge areas downstream have been flooded, raising fears of an ecological disaster.

NATO member Turkey has good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv.

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