Specialists of the Norwegian research center NORSAR, which studies seismic phenomena, reported that on the day the Kakhovka HPP dam collapsed, there was probably an explosion near the plant.
“Data from regional seismic stations show clear signals on Tuesday, June 6, at 2:54 local time. The time and location (coordinates: 46.7776, 33.37) coincide with media reports of the Kakhovka dam collapse. The signals indicate that there was an explosion”, the scientists said in a statement.
Immediately after the collapse of the Kakhovka dam, Ukrainian authorities blamed the Russian military, which had seized the plant at the beginning of the war, for undermining it.
On Friday, Ukraine’s Security Service published a recording of an intercepted conversation allegedly between two Russian military personnel. “It wasn’t them who bombed there. Our sabotage group is there. They wanted to kind of scare this dam. It didn’t go according to plan, but more than they planned”, says one of the voices on the recording.
Statements by Russian officials and the media about the incident vary. Initially, the occupation authorities in the Kherson region claimed that the hydropower plant was destroyed due to months of shelling. Soon there were also statements about a missile strike allegedly carried out by the Ukrainian Armed Forces the night before the disaster (the state agency TASS continues to stick to this version).
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov first called the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant a result of sabotage by Ukraine, without specifying exactly how the sabotage was carried out. On Friday, Peskov stated that “Ukraine undermined the dam”.