Ukraine’s military said Russian forces have blown up a large dam in southern Ukraine, while the Moscow-installed official in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Russian-controlled portion of the country’s Kherson region blamed the dam’s destruction on Ukrainian shelling.
Officials in Kyiv accused Moscow on Tuesday of destroying the dam in “a panic” in order to slow down a Ukrainian counteroffensive, saying the consequences of Russia’s actions were “already catastrophic”.
“The terrorists’ goal is obvious – to create obstacles for the offensive actions of the armed forces,” Mykhaylo Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, wrote in a tweet.
“On a vast territory, all life will be destroyed; many settlements will be ruined; colossal damage will be done to the environment,” he said.
"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," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has been blown up, Ukrainian and Russian officials said on Tuesday, threatening to flood areas downstream along the Dnipro River.
Ukraine's state hydroelectric company said the power plant had been "totally destroyed" after a detonation inside the engine room.
The Soviet-era hydroelectric plant also supplies water to the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is also under Russian control.