Ukraine Accuses Russia of Destroying Dam Near Kherson

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine on Monday. (Maxar Technologies via AP)

Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russian forces of blowing up a major dam and hydroelectric power station in a part of southern Ukraine that Russia controls, sending water gushing from the breached facility and threatening possible massive flooding and what officials called an “ecological disaster.” Ukrainian authorities ordered hundreds of thousands of residents downriver to evacuate.

Russian officials countered that the Kakhovka Dam was damaged by Ukrainian military strikes in the contested area.

The fallout could have broad consequences: Flooding homes, streets and businesses downstream; depleting water levels upstream that help cool Europe’s largest nuclear power plant; and draining supplies of drinking water to the south in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed.

The dam break added a complex new element to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, now in its 16th month, as Ukrainian forces were widely seen to be moving forward with a long-anticipated counteroffensive in patches along more than 1,000-kilometers of front line in the east and south of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom said in a statement that the blowing up of the dam “could have negative consequences” for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s biggest, but wrote that for now the situation is “controllable.”

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency wrote on social media that its experts were closely monitoring the situation at the plant, and there was “no immediate nuclear safety risk” at the facility.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!