Hydroelectric Dam in Kherson Partially Destroyed in Ukrainian Shelling
Story Code : 1062255
The upper part of the key infrastructure was “destroyed as a result of a strike,” the mayor of Novaya Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, confirmed to RIA Novosti. While the dam's latches were damaged and unleashed a stream of water, the structure itself withstood the attack, the official added.
As a result of the incident, the water level downstream has risen by up to 2.5 meters, according to Leontyev, who added there was no need for evacuations thus far.
The dam was reportedly struck around 2am local time. A video captured from a drone has circulated on Telegram, purporting to show the aftermath with streams of water flowing through the breach.
Moscow repeatedly blamed Kiev for carrying out numerous attacks on the Kakhovskaya dam, warning that a breach could cause a disaster and result in the deaths of thousands of civilians. In turn, Ukraine claimed that Russia had been planning to blow up the dam itself in a false-flag operation aimed at framing Kiev for the flooding.
The persistent threat was cited as one of the main reasons for evacuating civilians from certain communities in the area, and an eventual pullout of Russian forces from the city of Kherson to the left bank of the Dnepr River.
Russian military and civilian officials, including acting Kherson governor Vladimir Saldo warned at the time that many areas in the region, including in Kherson city, could be flooded if the Kakhovskaya dam is destroyed.
Kherson Region was officially declared part of Russia in early October, together with Zaporozhye Region and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after people in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move during referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham” and vowed to recapture the territories, using any mean necessary.
Kiev indeed considered blowing up the dam to paralyze Moscow’s forces who were defending the city of Kherson – and even “conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates” – a former head of Ukraine’s Operational Command South, Major General Andrey Kovalchuk, admitted in an interview with the Washington Post in December.