The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Plant (HPP) in Ukraine’s Kherson region, the last stage of the Dnipro cascade of HPPs, has been fully submerged after an explosion on June 6. A video of the dam was published on Telegram by pro-Russian “war correspondent” Yuri Kotenok:
“As of 10:48 Moscow time, the [Nova] Kakhovka HPP is completely flooded. In Nova Kakhovka, the water level rose to 10 meters.”
Charles Michel, the Head of the European Council, called the destruction of the dam a war crime and added that Russia and its proxies will be held accountable.
Water consumption in Kryvyi Rih is limited, as 70% of the city's water supply comes from the Kakhovka Reservoir. The head of the city administration described the situation as “difficult but controllable,” local residents are queuing for water, and there are interruptions in the water supply system due to overloads.
On the morning of June 6, Ukraine’s Operational Command South reported that Russian troops had blown up the Nova Kakhovka Dam. Nova Kakhovka’s Russia-installed occupation authorities reported that there were strikes on the Kakhovka HPP at around 2 a.m., but did not specify who carried out the strikes. Ukrhydroenergo, a state corporation that manages Ukraine’s hydroelectric power plants, claims that the Kakhovka HPP has been completely destroyed and cannot be restored. The Russian state-run news agency TASS reported that half of the spans of the Nova Kakhovka HPP have already collapsed and are continuing to disintegrate.
Mikhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that according to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia’s 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade had blown up the Kakhovka. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, and issued a statement blaming Russia for the damage.
“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,” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
A week before the explosion at the Kakhovka HPP, Russian authorities notably passed legislation cancelling the investigation of accidents at dangerous facilities – including hydraulic engineering structures – in the occupied territories.
“Until January 1, 2028, the technical investigation of accidents at hazardous production facilities and accidents at hydraulic structures, which occurred as a result of military actions, sabotage and terrorist acts, shall not be carried out,” read Russian Government Decree No. 873, available on Russia’s official legal information website.