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'Massive flooding' after dam blast in southern Ukraine: analysis

07.06.2023 08:00
Tuesday's damage to the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine's southern Kherson region caused massive flooding of the Dnipro River delta, river wetlands, estuaries and shoreline settlements, a US think tank has said.
The destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraines southern Kherson region, June 6, 2023.
The destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine's southern Kherson region, June 6, 2023.Photo: EPA/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES via PAP

"Damage to the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam in the early hours of June 6 caused massive flooding of the Dnipro River delta, river wetlands, estuaries, and shoreline settlements in Kherson Oblast," the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank said in its latest analysis of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine.

It added that Russian and Ukrainian sources began reporting "loud noises resembling explosions emanating from the KHPP (across the Dnipro River in the Nova Kakhovka area about 55km northeast of Kherson City)" between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, "followed by reports of rushing water and an overall increase in the water level of the Dnipro."

Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast Administration announced the evacuation of several districts at around 7:30 a.m. and reported that "the Tyahinka, Odradokamianka, Beryslav, Ivanivka, Mykilske, Tokarivka, Ponyativka, Bilozerka, and Ostriv areas had been partially or completely flooded," according to the Washington-based think tank.

Meanwhile, Russian Kherson Oblast occupation officials announced the evacuation of "the Nova Kakhovka, Hola Prystan, and Oleshky" districts, it said.

Ukrainian officials said that more than 80 settlements were within the flood zone in the Kherson region, the ISW reported.

It cited Ihor Syrota, the General Director of Ukraine’s hydroelectric power plant regulator Ukrhydroenergo, as saying that water was "draining from the Kakhovka Reservoir at a rate of 15-20 cm an hour," which Syrota stated meant that the reservoir would be "entirely dry in the next four days."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian forces conducted an intentional premeditated explosion at the dam but did so in a “chaotic” manner that allowed Russian military equipment to be flooded downstream, according to the ISW.

Ukrainian officials offered assurances that the damage to the dam and subsequent flooding would not impede Ukrainian counteroffensive preparations, the think tank observed.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 469 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, understandingwar.org

Click on the audio player above for a report by Halyna Pastushuk.