“We’re Not The Dambusters”; Russia Denies Destroying Ukraine Dam.

Photo Credit: Ruetir. Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for the sabotage of the dam on Ukraine's largest reservoir.
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By Jonathan Mason-June 6th 2023.

A dam and hydroelectric power plant in a Russian-controlled part of southern Ukraine have been destroyed, unleashing a torrent of water and prompting fears of wide-scale flooding in the area downstream on the Dnipro river.

Ukrainian and Russian officials have urged local communities near the Nova Kakhovka dam to evacuate the area immediately.

It is unclear what exactly destroyed the dam early on Tuesday, but from the images being broadcast from the scene, it appears that an explosion blew up a large part of the structure.

Videos showed the buildings around the entrance of the dam being heavily damaged, while a large body of water was seen gushing through a hole in the structure.

Ukrainian and Russian officials have accused each other of blowing up the dam, although conflicting reports have emerged from Moscow-installed officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused “Russian terrorists” of destroying the dam and said the outrage “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,” he wrote in a tweet. “The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles or anything else,” he said.

A Moscow-installed official in Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontev, told Russian state television that the damage to the dam was the result of a series of Ukrainian attacks.

However, Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in Zaporizhzhia, said the dam collapsed due to earlier damage and the pressure of the water.

The dam, 30 metres (98 feet) tall and 3.2km (2 miles) long, was built in 1956 on the Dnipro river as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

It supplies water to large swaths of southeastern Ukraine, as well as the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula.

The dam’s reservoir also provided water used for the essential cooling of the six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the largest such facility in Europe, as well as for spent fuel and emergency diesel generators that have had to be used repeatedly when external power fails.


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