New problem in Ukraine. If a war were not enough, it now faces flooding caused by the destruction of a dam, the largest in the country, 60 kilometers from the city of Kherson last night. Specifically, it is about the infrastructure that is part of the Kajovka hydroelectric power station, on the Dnieper River. Kiev and Moscow blame each other for its collapse, while 16,000 people residing in the immediate vicinity are ordered to evacuate due to flooding that has already begun and could even reach the capital of the region.
Several villages were “completely or partially flooded” after the damage to the Kajovka dam. “Some 16,000 people are in the critical zone on the right bank of the Kherson region,” Oleksander Prokudin, head of the local military administration, said on social media. He also pointed out that there was flooding in eight areas around the Dnieper river.
Russian terrorists. 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. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only… pic.twitter.com/ErBog1gRhH
— Volodimir Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) June 6, 2023
The Southern Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has reported the destruction of the infrastructure by the Kremlin and has indicated that it is investigating the extent of the damage, as well as the speed and amount of water that would affect probable flood areas. Likewise, it is ensured that the collapse was preceded by a strong explosion. Everything to interrupt the counteroffensive that the Ukrainian army had started yesterday to recover the territory occupied by the Russians.
The head of the Ukrainian Presidency, Andrei Yermak, has stated that this “war crime of Russian terrorists” constitutes the crime of “ecocide”. “The Russians will be responsible for the possible deprivation of drinking water for people in the south of the Kherson region and Crimea, the possible destruction of some settlements and the biosphere,” he explained. Likewise, he has warned that this incident represents a threat to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. For this reason, he has remarked that today “the safety of people is a priority.”
Ukrainian terrorist attack
In contrast, the mayor of New Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, designated by Moscow, has confirmed nightly attacks on the plant by Ukrainian troops, which would have destroyed the valves, so that “the water from the reservoir began to discharge uncontrollably downstream ». Minutes earlier, Russia reported that the dam had collapsed “due to damage,” denying the attacks as the cause of the dam’s destruction, according to the Russian agency TASS.
Leontiev has declared that the local authorities are working for “the worst consequences”, although he has pointed out that the water level has risen but “so far, there is no need to evacuate civilians.” Likewise, he has denounced that this “is a very serious terrorist act”, for which reason “they will study the consequences”.
Zelensky convenes the National Security Council
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council of Ukraine in connection with the dam explosion, Secretary of the Ukrainian Security Service Oleksiy Danilov has indicated.
Zelenskiy accused Russian forces – who have controlled the infrastructure since the beginning of the invasion – months ago of laying mines at the facilities with the intention of causing catastrophic flooding in nearby communities in order to slow the advance of Kiev forces. For its part, the Russian Emergency services have also denounced Ukrainian missile attacks against the dam, which, however, did not cause serious damage.
The Kakhovka Dam was built by the former Soviet Union in 1956 on the Dnieper River and dams a water surface of 2,155 square kilometers. In this way, it is feared that after its rupture it could release 18 million cubic meters of water, affecting up to 80 towns in the area and even the city of Kherson itself. Likewise, southern Ukraine would be left without drinking water, in addition to the Crimean peninsula.
Ukrainian intelligence maintains that its blowing up by Moscow has no other function than to paralyze its military counteroffensive. In fact, Stalin even ordered the destruction of its predecessor, the Dneprostroi dam, to prevent the deployment of Nazi troops in World War II while the Red Army withdrew. Flooding caused by the blowing up of the facility caused the deaths of between 20,000 and 100,000 people in the region.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.