The Geneva Conventions and its protocols explicitly ban war-time attacks on "installations containing dangerous forces" such as dams due to the risk posed to civilians, a prohibition likely to come into focus after the destruction of a huge Ukrainian dam.

Ukraine accused Russia on Tuesday of blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces in southern Ukraine, inundating a populated region of the war zone and forcing villagers to flee.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine sabotaged the dam to distract attention from its faltering counteroffensive.