Ukraine says Russia blew up major dam near Kherson, prompting mass evacuations
Russian forces have been accused of blowing up the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine, unleashing a flood of water downstream which has forced hundreds of Ukrainian villagers to evacuate their homes with less than five hours’ notice. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has advised residents of 10 riverside villages downstream from the dam as well as parts of Kherson city to gather any essential documents, grab their pets and leave their homes. The floodwaters were expected to reach “critical levels” within just five hours, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration. The dam, built in 1956, holds approximately 4.8 billion gallons of water, equivalent in size to Utah’s Great Salt Lake and provides cooling water to Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhzhia plant, controlled by Russia. Russian officials said that the dam explosion poses no immediate risks to the nuclear facility. Aerial footage reposted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows the surge of water overtaking the dam and quickly flowing into the river below.
What is the Kakhovka dam?
The Kakhovka dam, built in 1956, is located in southern Ukraine and holds around 4.8 billion gallons of water. It provides cooling water to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and is equivalent in size to Utah’s Great Salt Lake.
What happened to the Kakhovka dam?
The Kakhovka dam was blown up by Russian forces, according to the head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration. The explosion unleashed a flood of water downstream, which led to the evacuation of hundreds of Ukrainian villagers living along the Dnipro River.
Why did Russia blow up the Kakhovka dam?
The motives behind Russia’s actions are unclear at this time.
Is the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant at risk?
Russian officials have stated that there is no immediate danger to the nuclear plant due to the dam explosion.
Russia accused of causing explosion at critical dam near Kherson, Ukraine leading to widespread evacuations.
Russian forces have been accused of blowing up a large dam in southern Ukraine, forcing residents of 10 riverside villages downstream from the dam as well as parts of Kherson city to evacuate their homes. Ukrainian officials claim the Kakhovka dam was destroyed by the Russian army in another “act of terror”. The Kherson Regional Military Administration head, Oleksandr Prokudin, said the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was not immediately in danger, however, the dam’s collapse will have caused serious concern for the facility, as the structure provides cooling water to Europe’s largest nuclear plant.