Kyiv, Ukraine — Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russian forces of blowing up a major Soviet-era dam and hydroelectric power station in a part of southern Ukraine that Russia controls, sending water gushing from the breached facility and risking massive flooding. Ukrainian authorities ordered thousands of residents downriver to evacuate.

Russia claimed it was Ukraine's military that inflicted the damage to the Nova Kakhovka Dam. The two sides couldn't even agree on the extent of the danger facing the region. A local Moscow-installed official said Tuesday there was "no threat" of major population centers being flooded, according to French news agency AFP.

But Ukrainian officials warned the breach could have broad consequences, flooding homes, streets and businesses downstream, depleting water levels upstream that help cool Europe's largest nuclear power plant, and draining drinking water supplies for the south in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

The dam break added a complex new element to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, now in its 16th month, as Ukrainian forces were widely seen to be moving forward with a long-anticipated counteroffensive in patches along more than 600 miles of front line in the east and south of the country.... Read More: CBS News