Water rushed through the dam into the Dnieper River, which separates Ukrainian and Russian forces. Both sides accuse each other of the attack that puts tens of thousands of homes at risk and might even threaten the safety of Europe's largest nuclear power plant.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a drone video showing the damaged dam as water gushed downriver. Zelenskyy blamed "Russian terrorists."
Meanwhile, Russia denied the attack. Russian-installed head of the Kherson administration, Vladimir Saldo, said Kyiv was behind the attack:
"The destruction led to a large, but not critical amount of water flowing down the Dnieper. It will not prevent our military from defending the left bank," Saldo. He accused Kyiv of the attack to "divert attention" from failed counteroffensives.
The Russian-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, said the "night attacks" on the dam had "led to the destruction of the valves" and that "water from the Kakhovka reservoir began to uncontrollably be discharged downstream."
Washington Post revealed satellite imagery of the damage.
Russian terrorists. 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. It's only… pic.twitter.com/ErBog1gRhH— ????????? ?????????? (@ZelenskyyUa) June 6, 2023