Footage shows destroyed Ukrainian Dam
Eerie footage shows the damage inflicted to the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on the Dnipro River overnight and provides a glimpse of the devastation it could bring to the partially Russian-occupied region of Kherson. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused “Russian terrorists” of the attack, while his adviser Mikhailo Podolyak called for Russia to be recognised as a “terrorist country”. The Russian-imposed mayor of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, blamed instead for the damage strikes launched by Ukrainian forces.
The video released by Ukrainian Government media outlet United24 shows most of the dam wall has been washed away.
A massive surge of water can be seen flowing dowstream, while structures of the hydroelectric plant present major damages and are being invaded by water.
Showing the surroudings, the clip clearly shows the already high level reached by the flooding water and the major impact the damaged dam could have on the population living in the area.
Kherson governor Oleksandr Prokudin said some 16,000 people were in the “critical zone” on the Ukrainian-controlled right bank of the river.
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Local forces are evacuating residents for districts upstream of Kherson city, he said, adding they will be temporarily relocated to other Ukrainian cities including Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Kropyvnytskyi, and Kyiv.
Mr Prokudin also added the water will reach “a critical level” in just hours.
The Russian-imposed acting governor of occupied Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, seemingly dismissed the size of the catastrophe, as he was reported by Russian state-owned news agency Tass saying a “large-scale evacuation of people” in the Russian-occupied areas “will not be required”.
The operator of the plant, state-owned Ukrhydroenergo, said in a statement: “As a result of blasts in the machine hall, the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station is completely destroyed. It is not recoverable.”
The organisation added the loss of water from the reservoir also represents a new threat to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
The statement read: “Water from the Kakhovka reservoir is necessary for the power station’s turbines and safety systems.
“The stationary cooler pond is currently filled. The Ukrainian staff of the nuclear power station are monitoring all indicators.”
The damage at the dam could also hugely affect Ukraine’s plans for an assault across the river as Kyiv prepares to launch its counter-offensive.
Mr Podolyak, said on Twitter of the attack at the plant: “The purpose is obvious: to create insurmountable obstacles on the way of the advancing [Ukrainian Army]; to intercept the information initiative; to slow down the fair final of the war.”
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Mr Podolyak outlined the devastation this attack could bring, saying: “On a vast territory, all life will be destroyed; many settlements will be ruined; colossal damage will be done to the environment…
“Another premeditated crime in the framework of the Uniform Global Crime of the Russian Federation in the XXI century – the organisation of a large-scale war in #Europe.”
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, was quick to condemn the attack, branding it a “war crime”.
After saying to be “shocked” by the “unprecedented” move, he wrote on Twitter: “The destruction of civilian infrastructure clearly qualifies as a war crime – and we will hold Russia and its proxies accountable.”
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