Amid yet another crossover of blame for the explosion that tore down Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam, several key Ukraine allies have eschewed caution before accusing Russia of the catastrophe. Meanwhile, evacuations from flooded areas in the Kherson region after the early Tuesday morning blast of the dam continued on Wednesday as the average water level is 5.61 meters and stretches for more than 600 km2. on both banks of the Dnieper River (32% is on the right bank controlled by Kiev and the remaining 68% on the left controlled by Moscow), although the rise began to slow down in Nóvaya Kakhovka, the town that housed the swamp dam and the destroyed hydroelectric power station.
Moscow maintains its denial of any involvement in the attack on the reservoir and blames the Ukrainian troops for it. During a telephone conversation on Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Vladimir Putin described the destruction of the Kajovka dam as “barbaric”. According to the Kremlin website, Putin pointed out that kyiv and its Western allies “are making a dangerous gamble with their escalation of hostilities, committing war crimes, openly using terrorist methods.”
Erdogan proposed to the head of the Kremlin to create a commission of experts to investigate the authorship of the blowing up of the Kajovka dam with the participation of their respective countries, Ukraine and the UN, which indicates that Turkey is not clear that, as Kiev says, the catastrophe was the work of Moscow. Not even the United Kingdom, a close ally of Zelensky, has so far dared to hold the occupants responsible for the destruction of the dam.
The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, estimates that “the attacks on civilian infrastructure are appalling, but it is too early to definitively confirm” that it was the work of Russia. But, if confirmed, Sunak added, the Moscow authorities “would have sunk even lower.” At the moment, US intelligence is the only one pointing to the Kremlin as responsible for the floods, according to NBC News. However, White House spokesman John Kirby acknowledged during a press conference that Washington is not in a position to “say for sure what has happened” and hopes to obtain more information.
Meanwhile, Putin has ordered the Ministry of Emergency Situations to set up a device to assist those affected by the destruction of the dam. Later, Minister Kurenkov confirmed that, following the president’s orders, he had sent a series of emergency and rescue teams led by Deputy Minister Anatoli Suprunovski to the affected areas, according to information from the Russian news agency TASS.
of crop irrigation systems
they have been rendered useless in Kherson.
The pro-Russian authorities in the part of Kherson occupied by Moscow troops reported seven missing on Wednesday due to the flooding and almost 1,300 people evacuated. The Kiev emergency services assured that on the Ukrainian side, on the right bank of the Dnieper, some 1,500 residents are already safe. Altogether, some 2,800 inhabitants had been evacuated as of last night. In reference to the disappeared, the head of the Russian Occupation Administration of Novaya Kajovka, Vladimir Leontiev, maintained that “they were shepherds. They were there, about seven people whom we know for sure and now nobody knows their whereabouts.
Almost 5,000 houses flooded
For his part, Vladimir Saldo, Moscow-appointed interim head of the occupied part of Kherson, declared that “between 22,000 and 40,000 people are currently in the disaster zone.” It was also reported that 1,852 houses were flooded on the Ukrainian side and another 2,700 houses on the pro-Russian side.
There are locations completely underwater. The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, encrypted them on Tuesday in 80 populations. Social networks show neighbors waiting on the roofs of their flooded houses for rescue teams to arrive by boat. On the pro-Russian side, Korsunka is totally submerged. In the city of Kherson, under kyiv control, the water has reached the center, but the vehicles continue to circulate with the flooded streets. The municipal authorities believe that, in the next twenty hours, the water level in the city could rise another meter. However, in Nóvaya Kajovka, where the flooding reached more than a meter in the center, the flow stopped rising on Wednesday.
Seven shepherds who were near the reservoir remained missing last night
The Ministry of Agriculture reported that “about 10,000 hectares of arable fields were flooded” in the part of Kherson under kyiv control. The same source assured that 94% of the irrigation systems in Kherson, 74% in Zaporizhia and 30% in Dnipropetrovsk have been left without water supply, a circumstance that, in their opinion, “could turn the fields in southern Ukraine in wastelands. The lack of water threatens thousands of civilians. The catastrophe will also affect the fishing industry.
Balance assured that “the operational-tactical situation after the destruction of the hydroelectric plant plays in favor of the Russian military”, who, however, according to the Ukrainian agency UNIAN, are withdrawing from the fortified positions that they maintained in the vanguard and are marching. to the south. UNIAN on Wednesday showed videos of how Russian soldiers retreat with water above the knee.
The American CNN, citing Western officials, assured that kyiv will have to “reschedule” its military operations in the area, since the floods have damaged bridges and roads. Through his Telegram channel, reserve colonel Roman Svitan considered that “the Russian troops blew up the dam to hinder the Ukrainian army as much as possible from overcoming the barrier posed by the Dnieper River.”
Floating mines and unused trenches
If the offensive has been complicated for the Ukrainian troops in Kherson, “for the Russians also because the water is flooding their trenches, it has disabled their fortifications and drags or detonates the planted mines” to stop the rival advance, the minister explained on Wednesday. Ukrainian reserve general Roman Svitan. Civilians and the military have witnessed the explosions of various devices buried downstream of the Dnieper due to vibrations and the weight of the water. The authorities have warned that the current has surely unearthed hundreds or thousands of mines that right now could be floating on the waters or end up scattered throughout the region with a “very high risk” for civilians.
kyiv repeated this Wednesday that the blast occurred from inside the dam. For its part, Moscow blamed the collapse on Ukrainian soldiers, who have repeatedly bombarded the wall with missiles.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.