U.S. authorities have intelligence that the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam was blown up by the Russian military, NBC television reported, citing two U.S. officials and a Western official.
They said Joe Biden’s administration is continuing to review the intelligence.
Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Washington could not yet say for sure what had happened to the Kakhovka HPP dam. U.S. authorities are clarifying the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities, reports the BBC.
When asked how the dam detonation would affect the situation on the front lines, Kirby said it was too early to tell.
On June 6, the Ukrainian Armed Forces Operational Command “South” stated that Russian troops had blown up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, put the responsibility for the incident on the 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. UC South spokesperson Natalia Gumenyuk noted that the purpose of destroying the dam was to disrupt the Ukrainian forcing of the Dnipro River.
The Kremlin blamed Kyiv for the undermining of the hydroelectric plant. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained this by the fact that the AFU had allegedly failed to make progress in the liberation of the occupied territories that had begun. To describe the situation, he used the phrase “offensive actions are suffocating”.
Meanwhile, what is happening on the front is evidence to the contrary. Ukrainian counteroffensive began successfully – in two days the Russian army was pushed back 5-6 km near the settlements of Novodonetskiy and Velyka Novosilka, located on the western outskirts of the Donetsk region.
It is noteworthy that a week before the explosion, the Russian government authorized not to investigate accidents at “hydraulic structures and hazardous production facilities” that occurred during military operations and terrorist attacks until January 1, 2028.
The Kakhovka HPP was seized immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine – in February 2022. Back in October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the plant was mined by the Russian military. According to him, the dam holds about 18 million cubic meters of water, and in case of an explosion, more than 80 settlements, including Kherson, would be in the zone of rapid flooding, and Crimea would be left without drinking water.
Zelensky noted that if Russian troops really are preparing to blow up the dam, it means that “they realize very clearly that they cannot hold back not only Kherson, but the entire south of the country, including Crimea”.