According to reports, Kiev and Moscow have been blaming one another for plotting to blow up the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on the Dnipro River during the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The dam lies in the eastern part of Kherson, which is now occupied by Russia.
The hydroelectric power plant’s Kakhovka dam, which is 30 metres tall and 3.2 kilometres long, was constructed on the Dnipro River in 1956. ‘The hydroelectric power plant has a volume of roughly 18 million cubic metres of water’, according to a recent speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Along with the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is also seized by Moscow, the dam is also in charge of providing at least 85% of the water supply to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. According to reports, if this dam were to be destroyed, it would cause massive floods that would harm thousands of people in Kherson and the neighbouring areas.
Zelensky of Ukraine said that Russia had mined the Dnipro River dam in his nighttime speech on Thursday. Previously, Moscow had accused Kyiv of launching missiles at the Kakhovka dam. Zelensky claims that if the dam is demolished, it might have an impact on the water supply for most of southern Ukraine and halt the flow of cooling water to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor.
Kherson and more than 80 other settlements will be in the area of rapid flooding if Russian terrorists blow up this dam. In his speech, Zelensky warned that ‘hundreds of thousands of people could be impacted’. He allegedly also warned the leaders of Europe that Russia would blame Ukraine for the dam explosion once it had taken place.
On the other hand, Vladimir Leontyev, a Kremlin-installed official in Ukraine, claimed to Russian TV earlier on Thursday that Ukraine had fired five missiles at the Kakhovka dam and power plant, and that if it were to be destroyed, it would cut off the vital canal that supplies water to Crimea.
This comes after Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, claimed on Tuesday that ‘we have information on the possibility that the Kyiv regime using prohibited methods of war in the area of the city of Kherson, on the preparation by Kyiv of a massive missile strike on the Kakhovka hydro-electric dam’. Other Kremlin-installed Kherson area officials have allegedly denied Ukraine’s assertions that Russia has mined the dam. This is according to another deputy leader of the region who was recently appointed by the Kremlin.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the presidential advisor for Ukraine, reportedly claimed that Russia was preparing a man-made catastrophe on Thursday, claiming that they had mined the dam and the transformers to flood the lower Dnieper River. He reportedly referred to this as the ‘Surovikin plan,’ which involves flooding the area to halt Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the area.