The Ukrainian authorities accused the Russian Federation of undermining the Kakhovka dam. Several villages and parts of Kherson were urgently evacuated. Zelenskyy’s office declared an ecocide.
In the Kherson region, the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant was destroyed, Ukraine accused Russia of undermining it. “Russian occupation troops have committed the undermining of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. The scale of the destruction, the speed and volume of water, the likely areas of flooding are currently being clarified. All services are working. The situation is monitored,” the Ukraine’s Operational Command South stated on Facebook early in the morning of Tuesday, June 6.
According to Ukrhydroenergo, the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power plant is not recoverable. “As a result of the explosion of the engine room from the inside, the Kakhovskaya HPP is completely destroyed,” the Ukrainian company reported. According to its preliminary forecast Ukrhydroenerho, the release of water from the Kakhovka reservoir will continue for the next four days.
Zelenskyy to hold urgent meeting of the NSDC
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will hold an emergency NSDC session on the situation in the Kherson region. “The President of Ukraine in connection with the undermining of the Kakhovka dam has decided to hold an e emergency Ukrainian NSDC session,” NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said.
In turn, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrei Yermak published a video of the destroyed dam. "This is ecocide. The Russians will be responsible for the possible deprivation of drinking water for people in the South of Kherson and in Crimea, the possible destruction of some settlements and the biosphere. Also their actions pose a threat to the ZNPP. The authorities are working both centrally and regionally. People's safety is the priority today", - he stated.
In turn, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak published a video of the destroyed dam. “This is an ecocide. The Russians will be responsible for the possible deprivation of drinking water for people in the South of Kherson and in Crimea, possibly destroying some settlements and the biosphere. Also their actions pose a threat to the ZNPP. The authorities are working both centrally and regionally. People's safety is the priority today,” he stated.
Evacuation of the population from several villages and parts of Kherson
The head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration, Alexander Prokudin, confirmed in a short video message the undermining of the Kakhovka dam. According to him, the water will reach a critical level in 5 hours. Evacuation of the local population from the dangerous areas has begun, Prokudin added.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced the work of the units of the National Police and the State Emergency Service of the Kherson region to alert and evacuate civilians from potential flood zones on the right bank of the Dnieper River: the villages Nikolaevka, Olhovka, Levo, Tyaginka, Poniatovka, Ivanovka, Tokarevka, Poniatovka, Prydniprov, and partially the city of Kherson - from Korabel Island. “The water level is rising and everyone who is in the danger zone should turn off all electrical appliances, take documents and essential supplies, take care of families and pets, follow the instructions of rescuers and police officers. And remember: the enemy is trying to spread misinformation, to absolve themselves of responsibility for another crime,” the department wrote in Telegram.
The water level in the reservoir is dropping by 15 cm per hour
The head of the Nikopol Regional Military Administration Yevgeniy Yevtushenko said that the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir is rapidly dropping, about 15 cm per hour. He asked the population to stock up on drinking water. Ukrainian publications publish footage of the destroyed dam.
Russia denies involvement in destruction of Kakhovka dam
Meanwhile, Russia denies involvement in the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam. Russian President Vladimir Putin receives reports from the Defense Ministry and other agencies about the situation at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, the matter is “a deliberate sabotage by the Ukrainian side”, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He stressed that this sabotage “could potentially lead to very grave consequences for tens of thousands of residents of the region, environmental consequences and other consequences that have yet to be established.
Earlier, the “mayor” of Nova Kakhovka, which has been seized by the Russian army, Vladimir Leontiev, first denied an explosion at the hydroelectric plant, then in a conversation with the TASS news agency he stated that gate valves at the facility were destroyed as a result of “nighttime strikes” and that water is discharged downstream uncontrolled.
Russian military bloggers deny that Russian forces undermined the dam in Kherson region and claim that its destruction benefited the Ukrainian army. In particular, Yuri Podolyaka wrote in Telegram that the Kakhovka dam collapsed, unable to withstand the damage previously caused during the war. “According to my information, no one blew it up (there were no explosions, people say, the AFU artillery threw some shells already later),” he wrote. In addition, Podolyaka said that after the flooding of the canopy of the left bank and the drying of the bottom of the reservoir will be “a huge gray area on which the enemy can land”.
The Kakhovka dam in the Kherson region collapsed on Tuesday night, Interfax reported, citing an unnamed “representative of the region’s emergency services”. “The dam fell: one pylon collapsed causing the flood”, he said, specifying that there was no shelling of the HPP overnight.
Meanwhile, the so-called “mayor” of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, told TASS that it is “presumably impossible” to repair the Kakhovka HPP after the destruction it suffered, and it will have to be rebuilt from scratch.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu condemned the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine and also offered assistance in dealing with the aftermath.
“I strongly condemn the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam this morning. Russia’s attack on critical infrastructure amounts to war crimes. President Zelenskyy, we are ready to assist in the elimination of the consequences of the flooding and to support mitigation efforts,” Maia Sandu wrote on social media.