Kiev/Moscow.- Ukraine today accused Russia of blowing up the Kajovka dam, on the Dnieper River, which has caused an emergency in the Kherson region (south), to stop the counteroffensive launched by Kiev, although the Russian authorities have attributed to a Ukrainian night attack.
The dam, one of the largest and most important in the country, is located near New Kajovka, an occupied city where there is a government installed by Moscow.
What is known so far about what happened at the Kajovka dam?
- The Ukrainian military authorities denounced early on Tuesday the blowing up by Russian forces of the Kakhovka dam, located on the Dnieper River as it passes through the province of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, which has forced the start of the emergency evacuation of the inhabitants of the affected area.
“The Russian army has carried out another terrorist attack. They have blown up the Kakhovka dam,” said the head of the Military Administration of the Kherson province, Oleksandr Prokudin, in a video directed at the population of the area.
- The Ukrainian public hydroelectric company, Ukrhidroenergo, said in a statement that the damage caused to the hydroelectric plant is "irreparable" and was caused by "a detonation in the engine room from the inside."
- The mayor of the occupied Ukrainian town of New Kakhovka, in the southern Kherson region, said today that the hydroelectric power station on the banks of the Dnieper river was damaged by a Ukrainian attack and water began to discharge "uncontrollably".
The councilor imposed by Russia in the town, Vladimir Leontiev, stated that around 2:00 a.m. local time (23:00 GMT), "a series of attacks were carried out at the Kajovka hydroelectric power station, which destroyed the valves," according to the TASS official agency.
As a result, he added, "water from the Kajovka reservoir began to discharge uncontrollably downstream," noting that the water level in New Kajovka after the dam burst reached 4 meters and that according to the worst forecast, the The water could rise to its maximum level within five hours and flood this area.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed the destruction of the dam on Russian "terrorists": "The destruction of the Kakhovka power plant only confirms to the whole world that they must be expelled from all corners of Ukrainian territory," Zelensky wrote in his Telegram account, along with a video of the overflow of water from the dam widely reported by the media in Ukraine.
- According to the adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office Mikhailo Podolyak, “Russia has blown up the dams of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. The purpose is obvious: to create insurmountable obstacles to the Ukrainian advance; take the information initiative; slow down a just end to the war,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
- The destruction of the dam has begun to cause the first floods in towns in the area. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the overflow could affect up to 80 towns in the region, most of them located in territory occupied by Russian forces.
More than a thousand people have been evacuated so far from the affected areas, according to Ukraine's Interior Minister Igor Klymenko. The Ukrainian Military Administration of the area has estimated the number of inhabitants in the “critical area” most exposed to flooding at 16,000.
- The authorities imposed by Russia in the Ukrainian region of Kherson, in the south of the country, also began evacuations.
"Inhabitants of about 600 houses are being evacuated," said the mayor of New Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, in an interview with Russian public television. According to Leontiev, the city, which is home to the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam and has been under Russian control for more than a year, "is still under missile fire right now."
- The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, has reported the call by President Zelenski for an urgent National Security Council.
- Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who are at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), in southeastern Ukraine, assured this Tuesday that "there is no immediate risk to nuclear safety at the plant."
"The IAEA is aware of the reports of damage to the Kakhovka dam (located in Russian-occupied territory in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine)," the United Nations system body in charge of ensuring protection said in a tweet. the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
"IAEA experts at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant are closely monitoring the situation; there is no immediate risk to nuclear safety at the plant," the short message on Twitter concluded.
- The overflow will affect the irrigation systems in the area and seriously affect food production, the Ukrainian Presidency warned today.
"The blowing up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant by Russia is a blow to global food security," said the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, who described what happened as "the worst man-made disaster in the world." world in recent decades.