That is according to Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, The Kyiv Independent reports.
"The Kakhovka HPP was blown up by the Russian occupying forces. The scale of the destruction, the speed and volume of water, the probable areas of flooding are currently being established. All services are working. The situation is being monitored," the military posted on their official Facebook page early on June 6.
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Video footage widely spread on social media clearly shows a major breach in the section of the dam closest to the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the river.
"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," wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitter in response to the attack.
"Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only Ukraine's victory that will return security."
In November 2022, Zelensky had said that any attempt by Russian forces to blow up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, flooding Ukrainian territory and dewatering the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant would mean that Russia is “declaring war on the whole world.”
As the National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov announced on Twitter, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is convening an urgent meeting of the NSDC over Russia’s blowing up of the Kakhovka Reservoir dam."President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has decided to hold an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine due to the blowing up of the Kakhovka Reservoir dam," Ukraine's NSDC Secretary said.
PJSC "Ukrhydroenergo", a Ukrainian state-owned enterprise that administers many major hydro power plants along the Dnieper and Dniester rivers released an official statment too. According to the statement, "on the night of June 6, russian occupation forces blew up the Kakhovskaya HPP. As a result of detonation of the engine room from the inside, the Kakhovskaya HPP was completely destroyed. The station cannot be restored."
As Ukrhydroenergo notes, "according to the preliminary forecast, the reservoir is expected to be operational within the next 4 days. As of 9:00 a.m. on June 6, the water level in the Kakhovsky Reservoir is rapidly decreasing, and the evacuation of the population from potential flooding areas has begun."
"An uncontrolled decrease in the reservoir level is an additional threat to the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP. Water from the Kakhovsky Reservoir is necessary for the station to receive power for turbine capacitors and safety systems of the ZNPP. Now the station cooling pond is full. The Ukrainian staff of ZNPP monitors all indicators," Ukrhydroenergo stresses.
In turn, the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reports that the undermining of the Kakhovskaya HPP increases the threat of a nuclear disaster
This is due to the filling of the cooling ponds of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which depends on the water level in the Dnieper.
As Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence stresses, "this terrorist act is a sign of the panic of the Russians and Putin, and in this way they are trying to complicate the actions of the Ukrainian military."
"We would like to remind you that the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported on the implementation of major mining works immediately after the capture of the Kakhovskaya HPP. In April last year, additional mining of locks and supports was carried out. Tented trucks with explosives were installed on the dam itself," the Defense Intelligence of the Ukraine underlines.
The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam in southern Ukraine was captured in the initial push of Russia's 2022 invasion. It has strategic importance, supplying the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula with water. Located on the Dnipro River, the dam is one of the biggest facilities of its kind in Ukraine.
The demolition of the Nova Kakhovka dam is a war crime according to the Geneva Convention, but Russia has already systematically broken the Geneva convention during it’s illegal war in Ukraine.
Dams like the Dnipro dam in Nova Kahkovka are protected by the laws of war and the Geneva convention. Destroying it would be considered a weapon of mass destruction and an indiscriminate war crime. Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
“Works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.”