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GreekReporter.comEuropeMassive Dam Destroyed in Russia-Ukraine War Zone

Massive Dam Destroyed in Russia-Ukraine War Zone

Dam Ukraine Russia
A satellite image shows Nova Khakovka Dam in Kherson region, Ukraine 28 May 2023. Credit: Maxar Technologies

A vast dam was blown on Tuesday in the part of southern Ukraine controlled by Russia, unleashing a flood of water across the war zone, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces. Both sides blamed the other for destroying the dam.

Ukraine’s Kherson regional administration said that the water level would reach a critical level and began evacuating the population from dangerous areas. Russian emergency services said that around 80 settlements downstream could be affected.

Reuters reports that videos on social media showed a series of intense explosions around the Kakhovka dam. Other videos showed water surging through the remains of the dam with bystanders expressing their shock, sometimes in strong language.

The dam, 30 metres (yards) tall and 3.2 km (2 miles) long, was built in 1956 on the Dnieper River as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

It holds a reservoir of about the same volume as the Great Salt Lake in Utah and also supplies water to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is also under Russian control.

Ukraine, Russia blame each other for the destruction of the dam

Ukraine’s military said that Russian forces blew up the dam.

“The Kakhovka (dam) was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the South command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Tuesday on its Facebook page.

“The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified.”

Russian news agencies said the dam, controlled by Russian forces, had been destroyed in shelling while a Russian-installed official said it was a terrorist attack – Russian shorthand for an attack by Ukraine.

Bursting the dam could send a wall of water flooding settlements below it, including Kherson, which Ukrainian forces recaptured in late 2022.

Water from the reservoir supplies the Crimean peninsula to the south – which was annexed by Russia in 2014 – as well as the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Europe’s largest – to the north.

It also helps power the Kakhovka hydro-electric plant. Destroying the dam would add to Ukraine’s ongoing energy problems, after Russia spent weeks earlier this year targeting vital infrastructure.

It would also wreck the canal system that irrigates much of southern Ukraine, including Crimea.

Ukrainian forces “advance” in Donetsk

Ukrainian forces have advanced around Bakhmut, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar has said, describing the eastern city as the “epicenter of hostilities”.

She did not say whether a long-awaited counter-offensive had begun.

Separately, Russia’s military said it had repelled a new attack in the eastern Donetsk region on Monday.

Bakhmut has for months been at the heart of fierce fighting. It has little strategic value – but is important symbolically both for Kyiv and Moscow.

Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, an industrial heartland. Russian-backed separatists seized control of the two territories and declared breakaway republics in 2014.

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