Ukraine's ministry of International Affairs said that during the six days since the Kakhovka Hydro Electric Power Plant dam was breached, more than 2,700 people have been evacuated from Kherson region. Photo courtesy of Ukraine's Ministry of International Affairs/Facebook
June 12 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court in The Hague said a team has visited the area of a major hydroelectric dam in Russia-occupied southern Ukraine with intent to investigate its recent destruction.
"We can confirm that a team from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court has visited the Kakhovka dam area with the intention of conducting investigations related to the Kakhovka dam breach," the international court told UPI in a statement.
The confirmation from the international court -- which tries those accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression -- comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, in his Sunday night address, that the ICC was investigating the dam's destruction.
The ICC told UPI that it was unable to provide further details about its visit or investigation due to adherence to strict confidentiality protocols that ensure the protection of their investigative work's integrity and the safety and security of victims and witnesses.
According to Ukraine's ministry of Internal Affairs, at least 46 towns and villages remained flooded Sunday, nearly a week after the Kakhovka Hydro Electric Power Plant dam on the Dnipro River in Nova Kakhovka was blown, seemingly with explosives, on Tuesday.
Subsequent flooding has killed at least 10 people with another 41 missing as of Monday, the ministry said, while the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said that at least another eight are believed to have died in Russia-occupied Ukraine.
Some 17,000 people have been affected, according to a United Nations' estimate, though that number could rise to 40,000, it said.
Both Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations that the other was behind the attack on the dam. Kyiv officials have accused the Kremlin of committing ecocide by blowing the facility Moscow forces have occupied for months. Russia has claimed that the Ukrainian military had planned the attack since as early as last year.
On Sunday night, Zelensky announced that the ICC has been investigating the attack. He said a day after the breach occurred, Kyiv's prosecutor general sent a request to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate.
"And the work has already begun," Zelensky said in his nightly address.
The Ukrainian president did not state that ICC staff were already on the ground but explained that "it is very important that the representatives of international justice have seen the consequences of this Russian act of terrorism with their own eyes and heard for themselves that Russian terror continues."
"We are already facilitating and will continue to facilitate the most independent and objective investigation by the International Criminal Court," he added. "All our law enforcement and other institutions are involved in this process to the fullest extent possible."
According to the Internal Ministry, more than 2,743 people have been evacuated from the Kherson region, including 205 children, since Tuesday. In the six days since the incident, more than 700 people, including 30 children, have been rescued, it said.