Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Kherson. Photo/CNN
KIEV – Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Kherson which threatened the lives of thousands of residents. The Ukrainian military said Russian troops had blown up the massive dam in southern Ukraine, while officials posted by Moscow in the town of Nova Kakhovka in the Russian-controlled part of the Kherson region blamed the destruction of the dam on the shelling of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s aide to the president, Mykhailo Podolyak, accused Russia of destroying the Nova Kakhovka dam to slow the offensive, saying the consequences would be disastrous.
“The aim of the terrorists is clear – to create obstacles for the offensive actions of the armed forces,” Podolyak said in a tweet.
“In large areas, all life will be destroyed; many settlements will be destroyed; damage will be done to the environment,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s intelligence service said Russian troops did it in a panic.
“The invaders blew up the dam of the Kakhovka Reservoir in panic – this is a clear act of terrorism and a war crime that will become evidence in an international court,” Ukraine’s intelligence services said in a statement on Telegram.
The southern command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said the scale of the devastation was being assessed as the Ukrainian military administration for the Kherson region asked people to prepare to evacuate villages on the right bank of the Dnipro River before expected flooding.
“The water level is rising and everyone in the danger zone should: Turn off all electrical equipment; take documents and important things; caring for loved ones and pets; follow rescuers and police instructions,” the Kherson administration said on its Telegram message channel.
“About 16,000 people are in the critical zone on the right bank of the Kherson region,” said Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson military administration, on social media, adding that there had been flooding in eight areas along the Dnipro River.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting of the country’s national security council after the attack on the dam. This was stated by Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.