Russia's defense and foreign ministries had already laid blame on Kiev for the "catastrophic" attack. Putin's comments came during a phone call to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan - the first since his reelection. Putin offered Erdogan congratulations, but the two also discussed in-depth the dam disaster which has deeply impacted both Crimea and southern Ukraine as people are flooded out of their homes and towns. Evacuations and rescue efforts continue.
Putin told Erdogan in the phone call that the breach was "a barbaric act which has led to a large-scale environmental and humanitarian catastrophe."
The two leaders agreed to be in regular communication, with the Kremlin readout saying, "It has been agreed to maintain regular personal dialogue."
Erdogan on the same day held a call with Ukraine's President Zelensky, and conveyed that he supports an independent commission to investigate the dam breach and destruction under the auspices of the UN. Regional authorities have said flooding could continue for ten more days.