- The Russian military also said on Monday that it had stopped a new attack in the eastern Donetsk area.
- The size of the damage, the speed and amount of water, and the likely areas that will be flooded are all being figured out.
Both Ukrainian and Russian forces say that a huge dam broke on Tuesday in the part of southern Ukraine that is held by Russia. This caused a flood of water to spread across the war zone. Both groups said that the dam was broken because of the other side.
The Kherson regional government in Ukraine said that the water level would rise to a dangerous level, so people were moved out of dangerous places. Russian emergency services say that about 80 settlements downstream could be hit.
Videos on social media showed a number of big explosions near the Kakhovka dam. Other videos showed water rushing through what was left of the dam as shocked onlookers sometimes used strong language to describe their shock.
The Kakhovka Dam on the Dnipro River has been blown up. Russia had mined the dam many months ago in anticipation of a potential Ukrainian offensive. pic.twitter.com/dHqZtp83gk
— Ukraine Reporter (@StateOfUkraine) June 6, 2023
The dam was built in 1956 on the Dnieper River as part of the Kakhovka hydropower power plant. It is 30 meters (yards) tall and 3.2 km (1.9 miles) long.
It has a reservoir that is about the same size as the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It also sends water to the Russian-controlled Crimean area and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
Ukraine, Russia blame each other for the destruction of the dam
The Ukrainian military said that the dam was blown up by Russian troops.
“The Kakhovka (dam) was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the South command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
“The size of the damage, the speed and amount of water, and the likely areas that will be flooded are all being figured out.”
Russian news outlets said that shelling had destroyed the dam, which was controlled by Russian troops. A Russian-appointed official said it was a terrorist attack, which is short for an attack by Ukraine.
If the dam broke, a wall of water could flood the towns below it, including Kherson, which was taken back by Ukrainian troops in late 2022.
From the reservoir, water goes to the Crimean peninsula in the south, which Russia took over in 2014. In the north, water goes to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is the biggest in Europe.
It also helps the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant make electricity. Destruction of the dam would make Ukraine’s energy problems even worse. This is because Russia spent weeks earlier this year attacking important assets.
It would also damage the system of canals that brings water to a lot of the southern part of Ukraine, including Crimea.
Ukrainian forces “advance” in Donetsk
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that Ukrainian troops have moved closer to Bakhmut, which she called the “epicenter of hostilities” because it is in the east of the country.
She didn’t say if a long-awaited counterattack had started.
The Russian military also said on Monday that it had stopped a new attack in the eastern Donetsk area.
Bakhmut has been at the center of violent fighting for months. It isn’t very useful in terms of strategy, but both Kyiv and Moscow think it’s important because of what it means.
Donetsk and Luhansk, which are next to each other, make up Ukraine’s Donbas area, which was an industrial hub until 2014, when separatists backed by Russia took control of two territories and declared them independent republics.