Water pours from the Nova Kakhovka Dam in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine after Russia reportedly blew it up

EA on BBC: The Start of Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive?

Monday’s Coverage: A Major Ukrainian Assault in Donetsk in the East

Map: Institute for Study of War


In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken of the demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam, “Such deliberate destruction by the Russian occupiers and other structures of the hydroelectric power station is an environmental bomb of mass destruction.”

He continued:

[This will] not stop Ukraine and Ukrainians. We will still liberate all our land. Only the complete liberation of Ukrainian land from the Russian occupiers will guarantee that there will be no more such terrorist attacks.

Zelenskiy said earlier that 35 to 70 towns will be flooded by the water surge on the Dnipro River. He noted, “There will be big problems with drinking water even where there is no flooding. In the whole region.”


The scene after the destruction of the Nova Kakhokva Dam today….

And video of Russian-occupied Oleshky, with a message for the Russian proxy governor of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo after he said:

Nova Kakhovka and all the towns that are downstream such as Oleshky, Hola Prystan, Kherson, and other settlements live normally. People are moving through the streets. Gas stations and even stores are operating.


Finland is expelling nine personnel at the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, saying they are working on intelligence missions.

“Their actions are contrary to the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” the Finnish President’s office said in a statement.


“Two US officials and one Western official” say the US Government has intelligence that indicates Russia blew up the Nova Khakovka Dam.

The Biden Administration is hoping to declassify some of the intelligence and publish it by the end of Tuesday.

The Western official, pointing to a Russian motive, said the destruction of the dam and subsequent massive flooding makes it more difficult for Ukrainian forces to cross the Dnipro River into the eastern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.


Ukraine Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak has said in a statement to The Guardian.

At 2:50 a.m. this morning, Russian troops blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric station and its dam. I do not understand how there can be any doubt about this. Both constructions are located in the temporary Russian-occupied territories. Neither shelling nor any other external influence was capable of destroying the structures. The explosion came from within.

We know that Russian troops had mined the hydroelectric Station in the early days of the full-scale invasion, so the pre-meditated blast is the only plausible explanation. Any alternative theories are nothing less than false Russian propaganda narratives.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has posted, “Russia has detonated a bomb of mass environmental destruction. This is the largest man-made environmental disaster in Europe in decades.”


Ukraine Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko says Russia is shelling areas in the Kherson region as residents are being moved after this morning’s demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam.

He said on Ukrainian TV, “The Russian military continue to shell territory where evacuation measures are being carried out. An hour ago, two police officers were wounded in the area. Shelling continues at the moment.”


Ukraine has called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the “Russian terrorist attack” on the Nova Kakhovka Dam.

Kyiv has also asked the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to discuss the demolition of the dam, given the threat to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

The Ukrainians are seeking new international sanctions on Moscow, especially on the missile industry and nuclear sector.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement:

We consider the Russian Federation’s detonation of the dam…a terrorist act against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, which aims to cause as many civilian casualties and (as much) destruction as possible.

The terrorist attack on the Kakhovka HPP [Hydroelectric Power Plant] was previously intensely discussed at the level of the occupation forces in the Kherson region and propagandists on Russian television, which indicates that it was planned in advance.


Ukrainian authorities are limiting water supplies, leading residents to stock up at stores.


Countering the insistence of the Russian proxy governor in the occupied Kherson region that the situation is not serious (see 0819 GMT), proxy authorities in the Nova Kakhovka district have declared a state of emergency.


Moving away from his long-time support of Vladimir Putin, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has indicated that he will accept Belgrade’s sale of ammunition to intermediaries who ship it to Ukraine.

Vučić had opposed international sanctions on Moscow over Vlaidmir Putin’s invasion. But, noting US government reports that Serbian ammunition has ended up in Ukraine, he said:

Is it possible that it’s happening? I have no doubts that it might happen. What is the alternative for us? Not to produce it? Not to sell it?

Vučić is in political trouble at home. Last month, after mass protests challenged the Government over a pair of mass shootings, he announced his resignation as the head of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and the formation of a “Movement for the People”.

NATO has also sent troops to maintain order in Kosovo amid an escalation of tensions between Kosovars and Serbs.

Vučić denied he was courting the support of Western countries with a shift on military aid to Ukraine, saying Belgrade seeks to act in a “neutral way”.

He added, “But I’m not a fool. I am aware that some of the arms might end up in Ukraine.”


After a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has posted on Telegram about the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and Kakhovskaya Hydroelectric Plant.

Reiterating that about 80 settlements are in the critical zone, Zelenskiy confirmed arrangements for evacuation and for supply of drinking water to all cities and villages which had relied on the Kakhovsky Reservoir.

We do everything to save people. All services, military, government, are involved.

At the NSDC meeting, a set of international and security measures was agreed upon to hold Russia accountable for this terrorist attack.


The Russian proxy governor of the occupied area in the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, is insisting there is no serious threat to residents after the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam.

He said that the demolition has caused a large but “not critical” flow along the Dnipro River and that Russian forces are protecting the left (east) bank.

Video shows the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station is now submerged.


Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says up to 80 settlements on the Dnipro River are threatened by flooding after the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and the Kakhovskaya Hydroelectic Power Plant.

More than ten settlements are completely or partially flooded already.

At 12 p.m. an evacuation train will leave Kherson city for Mykolaiv to the northwest.

The House of Culture in Russian-occupied Nova Kakhovka:


Ukraine’s military intelligence agency has posted that Russian “occupiers blew up the dam of the Kakhovka Reservoir in a panic.”

The statement concluded, “This is an obvious act of terrorism and a war crime, which will be evidence in an international tribunal.”

Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin added on Twitter:

Russia can only destroy and kill. And will stop at nothing. Blowing up the Kakhovskaya HPP is another proof of this and an international crime.

Today, the cornered occupiers are killing and leaving thousands of people homeless, whom they wanted to “integrate into the Russian Federation” just yesterday. Cannibalistic “scorched earth” tactics worthy of Hitler.

Anyone who still thinks that it is possible to talk about something with an aggressor should remember the streams of dirty water that wash away the homes of people who were sleeping peacefully. The end of the criminal Russian regime can only be…defeat and a tribunal.


Ukraine’s hydroelectric power agency Ukrahydroenergo says the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power plant is “completely destroyed” and is not repairable, following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam.


Tymofiy Mylovanov, President of the Kyiv School of Economics and former Economic Development and Trade Minister, reports on the imminent danger from the demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam in the Russian-occupied area of southern Ukraine.


Ukraine State nuclear energy agency Energoatom says the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam “may have negative consequences” for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — the largest in Europe — “but the situation is under control”.

The agency said “Russian invaders blew up the dam”, with “rapidly decreasing” water levels in the reservoir “additional threat to the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP”.

But for now, the nuclear complex’s cooling pond is full with a water level of 16.6 meters.

Ukrainian nuclear scientist Mariana Budjeryn explained:

The fact that there’s an artificial pond next to the ZNPP where water can be maintained above the reservoir level and the fact that the reactors are in cold shutdown, offers some reassurance and increased time to respond if the ZNPP starts getting affected.

However, Budjeryn noted, “The bigger problem – who is going to do it? ZNPP is already down staffed to bare bones.”

A former reactor operator added that over time water will evaporate from the cooling pond, causing problems if it is not refilled from the reservoir of the Nova Kakhovka Dam.


Ukrainian police have listed villages in the “danger zone” on the right (west) bank of the Dnipro River, amid flooding from the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam.

Residents have been directed to evacuate, turning off all electrical appliances; taking documents, essential items, and pets; and following the instructions of rescuers and policemen.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukrainian officials say Russia has blown up the Nova Kakhovka Dam in the occupied area of southern Ukraine, causing massive flooding and forcing people living downstream to evacuate.

The Ukraine military said “Russian occupation troops” had blown up the hydroelectric dam on the Dnipro River: “Currently, the scale of the destruction, the speed and volume of water, and the probable areas of inundation are being determined.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, called an emergency meeting of his National Security Council, responded:

Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Ukraine-controlled part of the Kherson region, said “water will reach a critical level in 5 hours” and evacuations have begun.

Blown Up Because of Ukraine’s Imminent Counter-Offensive?

The dam was destroyed, washing away most of its wall, less than 48 hours after Ukrainian operations — “probing attacks” in preparation for a counter-offensive — advanced in the east of the country.

By detonating the dam, the Russians could try to hinder any Ukrainian amphibious assault in the south across the Dnipro.

Last autumn, a Ukrainian counter-offensive liberated the portion of the Kherson region — seized by Russia in the opening days of the February 2022 invasion — west of the Dnipro, including Kherson city. Russian forces re-established defense lines on the left (east) bank of the river.

Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted:

Russian proxy officials initially scrambled over the dam’s demolition, denying that there was any incident. Later they tried to blame “Ukrainian shelling”.

But an administrator in the emergency services of the occupied area, describing the “collapse” of one of the dam’s supports, said there were no attacks on the hydroelectric power station overnight.

The Russians had already begun hindering the operation of the dam. In May, water levels in the reservoir reached a 30-year high, when the occupiers kept open only a few sluice gates.

US meteorologist David Helms, monitoring the dam, summarized: “The Russians allowed the reservoir to fill to record levels; if the dam failed ‘naturally’, it certainly failed due to 6 weeks of over-topping and stress on the structure.”

The Nova Kakhovka Dam, built in 1956 as part of the hydroelectric power plant, is 30 meters tall and hundreds of meters wide. Its reservoir has about the same volume as the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

Water from the reservoir supplies the Russian-occupied Crimea peninsula to the south, and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to the north.

The destruction of the dam will damage the canal system that irrigates much of southern Ukraine and Crimea.