| 22 April 2024, Monday |

Ukraine says Russia blew up Kakhovka dam to prevent offensive in South

The Kakhovka dam was blown up by Russian forces to prevent Ukrainian troops from advancing in the southern Kherson region, deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar said on Sunday.

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of blowing up the dam from inside its associated hydroelectric power station. The site has been under Russian occupation since the early weeks of Russia’s invasion in February last year.

Moscow has blamed the destruction of the dam on Ukraine. Each side has accused the other of shelling civilians as rescue efforts are carried out.

“The explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station was apparently carried out with the intention of preventing the Ukrainian Defense Forces from launching an offensive in the Kherson sector,” Maliar said on the Telegram messaging app.

She said the action, which unleashed a vast flood which inundated towns and villages, trapped residents and swept away entire houses, was also aimed at helping allow the deployment of Russian reserves to the Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut areas.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday that counteroffensive and defensive operations were taking place in Ukraine.

He gave no details. A military spokesman has said that counterattacking Ukrainian forces have advanced up to 1,400 meters at a number of sections of the front line near the eastern city of Bakhmut.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat