Home » Ukraine, Kakhovka dam destroyed: exchange of accusations, displaced persons, risk of Zaporizhzhia

Ukraine, Kakhovka dam destroyed: exchange of accusations, displaced persons, risk of Zaporizhzhia

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Ukraine, Kakhovka dam destroyed: exchange of accusations, displaced persons, risk of Zaporizhzhia

When a dam is blown up in a war, indeed, a large dam that supplies a very large agricultural plain and provides the essential water to cool Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the conflict inevitably takes a turn. In the negative.
Whoever bombed the hydroelectric plant of the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro river, irreparably destroying the engine room, could not fail to calculate, even if summarily, the entire series of potentially devastating consequences that could ensue.
It is not surprising that Kiev has accused Moscow, and that Moscow has in turn returned the accusations to the sender. In this propaganda war, sabotage is never declared by the perpetrator.
Certainly the 205th motorized brigade of the Russian army controls that area, including the dam and power plant. And Moscow had every interest, Kiev points out, to slow down, with an almost insurmountable obstacle, the great counter-offensive of the Ukrainian troops towards the east, thus stopping the crossing of the Dnipro river.
The Ukrainian version therefore appears more credible. In a post on Telegram, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the attack was launched at 2.50 in the morning and created a flood that affected about 80 settlements. «Russian terrorists carried out an internal detonation of the Kakhovka Power Plant facilities. It was ordered to carry out evacuation from risk areas and to supply drinking water to all cities and localities supplied with water from the Kakhovka reservoir».

The Soviet dam supplying the Crimea

It took six years, between 1950 and 1956, to build this 30m high and 3.2km long dam. Its reservoir, 18 million cubic meters, has long been suitable for a variety of functions: supplying water to the large Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, supplying many agricultural fields and dozens of villages in the Oblast and in the city of Kherson, 20 km east of the dam. And also, and above all, to supply the Crimean peninsula, which is almost devoid of water. When Vladimir Putin admitted Crimea to the Russian Federation in 2014 with a highly controversial referendum (never recognized by the international community), the Ukrainian government blocked the Crimea canal – which started from the Dnipro river – and therefore the water supply with a dam. essential for this peninsula with an agricultural vocation. After the invasion in February 2022, the Russian army conquered the city of Kherson (liberated last November) and the whole region, where the great dam is located. He’s controlled her ever since.

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The Kiev version: «Provoke an Ecocide and stop our advance»

«The head of the Ukrainian bureau, Andriy Yermak, one of the most influential figures in Ukraine, also took the floor to condemn and explain the reasons why Moscow allegedly destroyed the plant. “This is ecocide – he accused -. The Russians will be responsible for the possible deprivation of drinking water for people in the south of the Kherson region and Crimea, for the possible destruction of some settlements and the biosphere. Furthermore, their actions pose a threat to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.”

It is not yet clear how many people live in the dozens of flood-prone villages, which may soon be evacuated. There are talks of about twenty thousand in the areas controlled by the Ukrainian government and, perhaps, of 60 thousand (a figure which, however, is not confirmed) in those controlled by the Russian forces, which have also started to evacuate military vehicles. In the next few hours it will be understood whether the water spill will be more contained or if it will really be a natural disaster. Because hour after hour, minute after minute, huge amounts of water from the great reservoir are swelling the Dnipro.

Imminent nuclear disaster?

It is no news that Kiev emphasizes the damage caused by the enemy, and vice versa. But this time the stakes are too high to linger. The pro-Russian governor of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, spoke of a Ukrainian attack with rockets while the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, pointed the finger at Kiev, whose intent, in his opinion, would be to deprive Crimea of ​​water . However, an action that is difficult to explain and not very rational. As if Kiev wanted to flood the territories liberated by his forces, including the strategic city of Kherson which is now in danger of being evacuated. Damaging hundreds of infrastructure, including hospitals and clinics. NATO and various Western countries have no doubts: it was Moscow’s work. Regardless of responsibilities, the whole world is now concentrated above all on the large Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now launching reassuring messages.

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