Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said late Tuesday that Britain’s military and intelligence agencies were probing whether Russia blew up a dam in southern Ukraine, but that it was “too soon” to make “a definitive judgement.”
Describing the destruction of the Russian-held Kakhovka dam as “the largest attack on civilian infrastructure” since the start of the war, the British leader added if Moscow was responsible, it would “demonstrate the new lows that we would have seen from Russian aggression.”
“Our military and intelligence agencies are currently looking at it... but what I can’t say is if it’s intentional,” Sunak told reporters en route to the United States for a bilateral visit and meeting with President Joe Biden.
“Attacks on civilian infrastructure are appalling and wrong. We’ve seen previous instances of that in this conflict so far, but it’s too early to say definitively,” he added.
Sunak said he would be discussing the situation in Ukraine with Biden at their White House meeting on Thursday, but noted the immediate response was humanitarian.
The UK had already put resources and funding in place to support both the United Nations and the Red Cross, which can divert resources to help evacuations and other emergency responses, he added.
“We were already thinking ahead about situations like this, and I’m pleased that the UK is continuing to support Ukraine in lots of different ways,” Sunak said.
Earlier, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly denounced the destruction of the Kakhovka dam as an “abhorrent act.”
“Intentionally attacking exclusively civilian infrastructure is a war crime,” he wrote on social media, promising support for Kyiv and those affected.