Russia’s defence minister says Ukraine blew up the Kakhovka dam in order to “redeploy units” from the Kherson region, according to a statement by the Kremlin’s defence ministry.
Shoigu added that the dam breach and flooding “were designed to prevent Russia from attacking near Kherson,” while allowing Ukraine to “transfer units and equipment from the Kherson front to the area of offensive operations”.
The Russian-installed governor of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region says the water level of the Kakhovka reservoir near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant had fallen by 2.5 metres (8.5 feet), and was expected to fall by up to 7 metres (30 feet), as a result of the dam breach, according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.
The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, which supplies some of the cooling water to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, has added to fears of a disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear plant.
It is unclear whether either side profits from the dam’s destruction because both Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-held regions are at risk. The damage might also impede Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive and distract its government, while Russia relies on the dam to send water to Crimea.
Germany blames Russia Kakhovka dam breach
“By all accounts, this is aggression by the Russian side to stop the Ukrainian offensive, to defend its own country. This shows that this is a new dimension,” Scholz said at a townhall organised by broadcaster RTL.
The German Chancellor also said that he intended to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin again, adding that he had not spoken to him for a long time.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock blames Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
“A dam near a nuclear power plant is misused as a weapon of war and human lives are put in grave danger. There is only one thing responsible for this environmental catastrophe: Russia’s criminal war of aggression on Ukraine,” she said in a tweet.
- Kyiv accuses Moscow of blowing up Nova Kakhovka dam ‘in a panic’
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SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES