Russia blew up the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant
On June 6, 2023, Russian terrorists blew up a critical dam near the city of Kherson, endangering thousands of people, entire settlements, ecosystems, and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
The results of this terrorist attack can be devastating. The dam of this hydroelectric power plant holds about 18 million cubic meters of water. Now, more than 80 settlements, including parts of Kherson, are at risk of flooding.
In the Kherson region, the National Police and the State Emergency Service are evacuating the civilian population from potential flooding zones on the right bank of the Dnipro River. 16,000 people are in the critical zone due to the destruction of the HPP, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, the Head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration.
“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. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror,” wrote Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.
The rapid water flow and flooding will cause an environmental disaster, with thousands of animals and entire ecosystems destroyed. In addition, at least 150 tons of machine oil got into the Dnipro River, and there is a risk of further leakage of more than 300 tons.
The terrorist attack will majorly disrupt the water supply in the South of Ukraine, including the canal built to supply water to Crimea. This is also another hit on global food security: the disaster will negatively affect the irrigation system in the South of Ukraine, where a large number of crops are produced.
It will also take a toll on the Ukrainian energy system: Ukrhydroenergo (Ukraine’s hydropower generating company) reported the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant is fully destroyed and could not be restored.
At the same time, Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant may be left without water for cooling, as it is taken from the Kakhovka Reservoir. According to the Presidential Office of Ukraine, the current situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP is stable. Ukrainian personnel at the plant are keeping the situation under control.
“The destruction of the hydroelectric power station threatens the ecological disaster for the South of our country. The world must respond. Immediately. But not just with words, but with actions. Russia should immediately withdraw from the nuclear power plant in order to avoid further catastrophe,” wrote Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine.
He also added that, as of 12 p.m., there were no victims among the civilians due to flooding after the explosion at the Kakhovka HPP. Currently, the environmental consequences are being estimated, and the evacuation of the population from the affected territories is ongoing. In the meantime, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that 885 people had already been evacuated in the Kherson region.
Update: As of 15 p.m., about 1,300 people have been evacuated in the Kherson region. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, about 13 settlements and more than 260 houses on the right bank of the Dnipro River have been flooded.
Ukraine will also initiate the convening of an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council and bring the issue of the Russian terrorist attack to the summit of the IAEA Board of Governors, as well as the engagement of the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union.