Ukraine, latest news: Russians blow up Kakhovka dam to slow Ukrainian counteroffensive, risk of severe flooding

The Nova Kakhovka dam in the Russian-controlled Kherson area was heavily damaged. According to Ukraine, it was hit by Moscow's forces.
kakhovka dam

The Nova Kakhovka dam in the Russian-controlled Kherson area was heavily damaged. According to Ukraine, it was hit by Moscow’s forces. The Ukrainian army said in a statement published today, Tuesday 6 June, that Russian forces had blown up the dam in the south of the country.

“The Kakhovka dam was blown up by occupation forces,” the army command said. “The extent of the damage, the speed and volume of the water as well as the areas at risk of flooding are being clarified,” the military concluded. The (Russophile) mayor of Nova Kakhovka Vladimir Leontiev denied the damage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called an urgent meeting to decide what to do. And he spoke of ‘ecocide’. Meanwhile, the evacuation from the area has begun.

The Olkha missile launcher

According to the Russians, the Nova Kakhovka dam was hit by the Olkha multiple missile launcher. This was claimed by the Tass news agency citing an anonymous source.

The Ukrainian Army’s Southern Operations Command accuses Russia: ‘The Kakhovka hydroelectric power station was blown up by Russian occupation forces. The extent of the destruction, the speed and volume of the water, the likely areas of flooding are currently being verified.

All services are functioning. The situation is under monitoring,’ the Command said. The dam was ‘partially destroyed’ due to Ukrainian shelling, according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, quoted by the Ria Novosti news agency. The ministry says there is no danger to the population of the region.

Zelensky: Russian terrorists

The head of the pro-Russian local administration, Vladimir Leontyev told Ria Novosti that some mechanisms of the Nova Kakhovka dam were damaged by Ukrainian shelling and there was a 2.5 metre rise in the water level in the reservoir. But the dam itself ‘was not destroyed’ and ‘there will be no catastrophe’.

On Twitter, however, Zelensky lashed out at the ‘Russian terrorists‘: ‘The destruction of the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station confirms for the whole world that they must be driven out of every corner of the Ukrainian land. Not a single metre should be left to them, because they use every metre for terror. Only the victory of Ukraine will restore security. And this victory will come.

The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles or anything else. All services work. I have convened the Council for Security and National Defence. Please disseminate only official and verified information.”

The exchange of accusations

Subsequently, the Tass news agency confirmed the damage to the dam. On Twitter, many accounts close to Russia say it was work of the Ukrainians. And there are those who claim that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant might have problems because of the low water level.

The Russian army has denied danger to the plant. Finally, Reuters reports the launch of Tass. It mentions the destroyed dam and the flooded territory. The Russian news agency also wrote that there was no bombing in the area. Ria Novosti, on the other hand, reported a new statement by the mayor in which he spoke of bombings and terrorism.

Read also: Russia deploys ‘non-strategic’ nuclear weapons to Belarus: what are they

What is the Nova Kakhovka dam

The Nova Kakhovka dam dates back to Soviet times. Some unverified videos on social media showed a series of explosions around the infrastructure. Other footage showed water pouring out of the remains of the dam.

It served to power the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. The dam has an 18-kilometre reservoir and also supplies water to the Crimean peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia power station.

The Ukrainian army accuses the Russians. Russian news agencies, on the other hand, speak of bombings and terrorist attacks.

Zelensky calls emergency meeting: ‘This is ecocide’

The Ukrainian National Security Council has announced that Zelenskiy will call an emergency meeting.

Already speaking on the incident, the Ukrainian president branded the attack on the dam an ‘ecocide’.

Read also: Multiple drone attacks in Russia, is this the beginning of the Ukrainian counteroffensive?

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