This photo taken on May 20, 2022 shows Russian servicemen standing guard near the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Kherson Oblast.InternationalIndiaAfricaThe destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam will lead to significant environmental consequences, Ilya Rybalchenko, Russian environmentalist and engineer-physicist, told Sputnik.The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) dam was severely struck by Ukrainian military forces early on Tuesday, with water uncontrollably discharged, flooding settlements below it. Having been erected in the 1950s, the dam had for decades ensured hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, and facilitated navigation in the region. In addition, water from the Kakhovka reservoir was used to cool the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).As of June 7, a whopping 35 settlements of Russia’s Kherson region have been flooded, including Novaya Kakhovka, Tavriysk, Golaya Pristan, Aleshki, as well as villages and towns in the Novokakhovka, Aleshkinsky, and Golopristansky municipal districts, according to the head of the region, Vladimir Saldo.
What Part of Kakhovka Dam Was Destroyed
«We must understand how a hydroelectric power plant works in order to understand the environmental damage,» Ilya Rybalchenko told Sputnik.The dam’s length is almost 4 km, and its height is 16.5 meters. It is operated by 28 hydraulic locks measuring 12 by 9 meters. For its part, the Kakhovka reservoir is around 2,200 square km in surface area and holds around 18 cubic km of water.»The hydroelectric power plant consists of a dam, that is, a monolith of concrete, huge slabs, which at the moment have grown together with each other for 50 years and nothing has happened to them. The dam itself is not destroyed. The superstructure above it was destroyed, where the engine room was and electric generators were installed; water passed through them generating electricity.»© SputnikKakhovka flood deskKakhovka flood desk
How the Kiev Regime Planned to Destroy the Dam
The Kakhovka HPP is the sixth and lowest in the Dnepr cascade of hydroelectric power stations, encompassing a network of dams and water reservoirs. The cascade consists of the Kievsky, Kanevsky, Kremenchugsky, Kamensky, Dneprovsky, and Kakhovsky reservoirs with a total water surface area of 6,950 square km.Per Rybalchenko, the Kiev regime considerably accelerated water levels at the Dneprovskaya HPP over the past two weeks, prior to the attack on the Kakhovka dam.
"[The Kiev regime] had to overcome the level of the dam and create the maximum differential in order to create the maximum difference between the water level above and below, so that even with slight destruction, water would pour there, and, accordingly, the level of destruction would be maximum. But we have been dumping water for the last five or seven days, because we have seen it," the expert explained.
«When they now claim: ‘Listen, what does Ukraine have to do with this?’ They have to answer one simple question: ‘What then were you preparing for these two weeks? Why did you make the maximum water level?’ And now it’s all pouring out,» Rybalchenko continued.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineNebenzia: Russia ‘Bewildered’ by UN Remarks, Regrets Its Kakhovka Warnings Were Not Heard6 June, 22:21 GMT
What Risks is Flooding Caused by Ukrainian Saboteurs Fraught With?
The area downstream the dam is a mix of wetlands, intensive agriculture and human infrastructure. The flooding will generate serious damage to people and ecology. Debris and toxins from industrial and urban land downstream of the dam could also have serious impacts on the environment.Still, fortunately, water did not come in a wave or in a vortex that could wash everything away, open the upper fertile layer, open burial grounds, open buried storage sites for municipal waste, and so on, according to the expert.»The water slowly rises and also slowly decreases, which in this case is a silver lining to the cloud,» Rybalchenko noted.Still, septic tanks and sewage treatment plants could be seriously affected, as per the expert. A separate issue is the cattle burial ground, with organic waste that has accumulated in shallow water bodies, and landfills, too, he added.»There is a lot of work to be done near sanitary facilities, enterprises and various laboratories that deal with chemistry,» Rybalchenko continued. «One should get ready for big and serious work. It is necessary to prepare systematically and comprehensively for mass flushing of wells. Because we understand that in rural areas where a centralized water supply is not accessible, people drink water from wells. And now polluted water is getting there, which is definitely not suitable for drinking.»WorldFrom Stage to Presidential Palace: How Did Zelensky Rise to Power and How Did it Change Him?20 May, 06:00 GMT
How Zelensky Deprived His Hometown of Water
«I think that the dam will sort of come to its level in a few days,» the expert said. «Accordingly, within a maximum of two weeks, the water will begin to subside.»In a matter of weeks the people of Russia’s Kherson region will be able to return back to work.
"If we are talking about the [Ukrainian] part, which is higher, then we must understand that there is a canal that feeds the whole city of Krivoy Rog. By the way, it's the hometown of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky. This channel of Krivoy Rog is of critical importance, because the North Crimean channel is used primarily for irrigation and agricultural work. Crimea learned to live and found alternative sources. But Krivoy Rog will be left without water. And how could one live in a city in which you cannot wash your hands, treat wounds, and wash products to [prevent people] from dysentery? This, of course, is a serious danger not just of disease, but of epidemics. Here the Ukrainian authorities shot themselves in the foot," Rybalchenko noted.
© AP PhotoThis image made from video provided by Ukraine’s Presidential Office shows the damaged Kakhovka dam near Kherson, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2023.This image made from video provided by Ukraine’s Presidential Office shows the damaged Kakhovka dam near Kherson, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
Why Destruction of Kakhovka Dam is Deliberate Ecocide
Russia has repeatedly warned the international community that the Kiev regime’s strikes could destroy the dam and lead to a major environmental disaster. However, the West turned a deaf ear to Moscow’s warnings, thus emboldening the Ukrainian military to proceed with shelling of the Kakhovka HPP, its dam, and the Zaporozhye NPP since the facilities came under Russia’s control in 2022.Per the expert, the Kiev regime’s actions could be qualified as «ecocide.»
"'Ecocide' as opposed to ecological catastrophe, is the deliberate creation of problems for people. That is, creating unacceptable conditions for people to exist, depriving them of their basic life support mechanisms," Rybalchenko said. "People who, I emphasize, had raised the water level upstream [from] the Kakhovka HPP over two weeks, knew that it would be easier to destroy it this way. They were perfectly aware of what they were doing and were aware of their actions. And that is why this is a terrible crime against humanity and nature. And it really will greatly complicate the living conditions of existence for many people. And for many, this will be a rather big tragedy."
Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineUkraine Blows Up Togliatti-Odessa Ammonia Pipeline in Kharkov Region7 June, 11:27 GMTEarlier this week, the Ukrainian military committed another act of environmental terrorism by blowing up the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline near the settlement Masyutovka in the Kharkov region on June 5. There are victims among the civilian population who have «received the necessary medical assistance,» according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.Video footage appearing to document the consequences of the Ukrainian sabotage group’s attack, showed toxic clouds of ammonia vapor pouring into the local environment. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish, wildlife, and plant life, and in high concentration can damage human lungs and cause death.The Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline was built in 1979 and runs from the Russian region of Samara to Odessa, passing through Kharkov. Moscow signaled that it could repair the pipeline if it is able to ensure access to the attack site. However, the Kiev regime has so far not signaled readiness to cooperate.