Ukrainian plot to breach dam revealed by media

Ukrainian plot to breach dam revealed by media
Fecha de publicación: 
29 December 2022
Imagen principal: 

Ukrainian forces were planning to damage a major hydroelectric dam on the Dnieper River in Russia’s Kherson Region to paralyze the movement of Moscow’s forces, who were at the time defending the key city of Kherson, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing a former Ukrainian commander. The revelation comes despite Kiev’s claims that the destruction of the facility would be a “large-scale disaster.” 

Speaking to the newspaper, Major General Andrey Kovalchuk, who formerly headed Ukraine’s Operational Command South, described Kiev’s attempts to push back the Russian forces that had been stationed on the right bank of the Dnieper by cutting off their supply routes. To this end, Ukraine repeatedly shelled several crossings, using US-made HIMARS missiles.

Kovalchuk also considered flooding the river by attacking the Kakhovka hydropower plant. The general said, as reported by the Post, that Kiev’s forces “even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates.” The purpose of the ‘experiment’ was to “see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages.” 

The ex-commander described the test as “a success,” but decided to resort to such an attack only if there were no other options remaining.

Read more; Damage to key dam from Ukrainian strikes revealed

Russian forces ended up withdrawing from Kherson behind the Dnieper River in early November. At the time, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu explained that Ukraine’s recurring attacks on the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam posed a serious risk to both the military and civilians. Should attempts to blow up the dam be successful, “large areas” could be flooded and the troops there could have been cut off from the rest of the Russian forces.

In late October, Moscow appealed to the UN to prevent Ukraine from destroying the dam. This “terrible provocation” could result in thousands of civilians dead, Russia said at the time.

The same month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Moscow had allegedly planted bombs in the dam. “Blowing up the dam would mean a large-scale disaster,” he said.

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