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Zelenskyy slams 'Russian terrorists' for blowing up Nova Kakhovka dam in Kherson region

Image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Office, water runs through a breakthrough in the Kakhovka dam in Kakhovka, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Office, water runs through a breakthrough in the Kakhovka dam in Kakhovka, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2023 Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AFP, AP
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Ukraine's Southern Operational Command has reported Tuesday morning that Russian forces have blown up the hydroelectric power station dam, potentially causing destruction around the town of Kherson.


A Soviet-era dam in the Russian-controlled part of southern Ukraine was blown up early Tuesday morning, unleashing a significant amount of water now flowing free through the dam and the hydroelectric power plant.  

Ukraine's military authorities said the Kakhovka Dam was destroyed by Russian forces, while Russian authorities blame Ukraine. For months, both sides have been accusing each other of plotting to blow up the dam, which supplies water for drinking, agriculture, and the cooling of the nearby Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

"The Russian army has carried out another terrorist attack. They have blown up the Kakhovka dam," Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Military Administration of Kherson province, said in a video address to the local population. The Ukrainian army's Southern Command, meanwhile, has written that it is establishing "the destruction, speed and volume" of the overflow caused by the explosion.

Zelenskyy has blamed the destruction of the dam on "Russian terrorists", writing on Twitter: "The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror."

He added: "All services are working. I have convened the National Security and Defense Council."

The National Police of Ukraine has started evacuating people in affected villages while also urging them to turn off their electrical appliances, as written on Telegram.

The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, reported that the country's president, Volodymir Zelenskyy, had convened an urgent National Security Council.

The Kakhovka Dam, which stretches across the front line traversing Ukraine’s Dnieper River, is 30m tall and 3.2km long. It was built in 1956 as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and contains an enormous amount of water -- the same volume as the Great Salt Lake in Utah, US -- which is used to supply the Crimean peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The destruction of the dam could add to Ukraine's ongoing energy problem, as well as disrupting the irrigation system in Crimea.

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