Ukraine Blames Russia for Breach of Critical Dam in Kherson Region

June 6, 2023

Ukraine has accused Russia of blowing up a dam on the Dnipro River that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces, flooding an area of countryside that’s in the war zone and forcing evacuations.

The Nova Kakhova dam supplies water to the Crimean peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, both of which are currently under Russian control. 

The dam supplies fresh water to huge swaths of farmland as well as cooling water for the nuclear power plant. Its destruction has created a new humanitarian disaster just as Ukraine is reportedly launching its long-anticipated counteroffensive to drive out Russian troops. 

Referring to “Russian terrorists,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted out video Tuesday of the damaged dam and the extensive flooding it caused in the Kherson region.

“The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land,” Zelensky wrote. “Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only Ukraine’s victory that will return security. And this victory will come. The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles or anything else.”

He added that all service were working, going on to say, “I have convened the National Security and Defense Council. Please spread official and verified information only.”

Ukraine’s energy ministry also stated that the explosion at the dam had caused “no threats” to Ukraine’s electricity supply.

“The generated electricity is sufficient to cover the needs of consumers,” the ministry stated.

However, nearly 12,000 people in the Kherson region have lost power due to flooding “and there may be problems with water supply,” the ministry noted. “Preventive anti-crisis measures are being prepared.”

But the ministry did contend that “there is no direct threat” to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, though officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say they are “closely monitoring the situation”—also noting that there is “no immediate threat.”

Ukraine’s military, meanwhile, has said it is “equipped with all the necessary watercraft” for “crossing water obstacles.”

Russia is pinning the blame on Ukraine. Russia’s installed governor in Kherson accused Kyiv of striking the dam with missiles to distract attention from what he said were failures in its counteroffensive.

PHOTO: @ZelenskyyUa

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