Destruction of the Kakhovka Dam

The Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine was breached in the early hours of 6 June 2023, causing extensive flooding along the lower Dnieper river, also called the Dnipro, in Kherson Oblast. The dam was under the control of the Russian military, which had seized it in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many experts have concluded that Russian forces likely blew up a segment of the dam to hinder the planned Ukrainian counter-offensive. Russian authorities have denied the accusation. The dam was about 30 m (98 ft) tall and 3.2 km (2.0 mi) long; the breached segment was about 85 m (279 ft) long. Two days after the breach, the average level of flooding in the Kherson region was 5.61 m (18.4 ft), according to local officials.There were signs of an explosion at the time of the breach. Both Ukrainian and Russian sources reported hearing blasts from the dam's hydroelectric power station, regional seismometers detected explosions in the area, and a satellite detected the infrared heat signature of an explosion.Water levels in the Kakhovka Reservoir, controlled by Russia, had been rising for months and were at a 30-year high when the dam failed. Thousands of residents downstream were evacuated, and floods submerged several villages in Ukrainian- and Russian-controlled areas. By 21 June, 58 people were reported to have been killed and 31 were missing. Flooding killed many animals and damaged farmland, homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The loss of water from the reservoir could threaten the long-term water supply to Russian-controlled Crimea and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, but there was no immediate risk to either.

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