The Ukraine update: what happened last night
After the dam was blown up, Russian positions are out of artillery range
The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam will have a massive impact on Russian defensive positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River. This is the conclusion of the US Institute for War Studies (ISW). According to this, the flood destroyed numerous field fortifications that were of central importance for the defense against the Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Thus, the only option was to withdraw equipment and personnel from the main Oleshky and Hola Prystan concentration points. The positions are now 15 instead of 5 kilometers away from the flooded zone. As a result, some of the areas to the west of the river are now out of Russian artillery range.
Oleshky, Hola Prystan, Kozacha Laheri and Dnipryany were almost completely flooded with water, the water level had risen to the height of a one-story building. Footage shows how Russian mines exploded in the floods. Others were washed away. Despite these circumstances, Vladimir Saldo, governor of the Russian-occupied part of Kherson Oblast, believes that the dam breach would primarily harm the Ukrainian military in the planned counter-offensives.
New Kachowka Dam will cost at least $1 billion
Ukraine has again emphasized that after the liberation of the region, it intends to build a new dam and hydroelectric power station on the site of the destroyed Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. However, this will take at least five years and cost at least one billion dollars, the head of the Ukrainian state-owned energy company Ukrhydroenergo, Ihor Syrota, told the Kyiv Independent.
“This is a complex hydroelectric power station that will take some time to rebuild. We are currently developing a project for the location of the power plant,” said Syrota.
THW sends relief supplies to the Ukrainian flood region
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has already sent eight trucks with relief supplies to Ukraine. They are expected there on Friday or Saturday, said THW President Gerd Friedsam on Wednesday in the ARD “Tagesthemen”. First, drinking water filters and power generators would be delivered. “And we are now supplementing this with accommodation material such as tents, blankets, camp beds.” The help is based on the requirements of the Ukrainian civil protection authorities.
Pence: Ukraine needs support against Russia
Former US Vice President Mike Pence said he would continue to support Ukraine militarily against Russia as President of the United States. “We have to give the people of Ukraine the ability to fight,” Pence said on Wednesday (local time) during a question time with citizens on the CNN TV channel.
He also dealt against his former boss, ex-President Donald Trump. He called Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin a “genius” when he invaded. “I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal and I know who needs to win the war in Ukraine – and it’s the people who are fighting for their freedom and for the restoration of their national sovereignty in Ukraine,” Pence said.
Pence had previously made his application for the Republican presidential nomination public with a video. Trump will also be back after his defeat in 2020. From 2017 to 2021, Pence was Trump’s deputy in the White House – now they have a difficult relationship. The presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024. An internal party primary decides who ultimately becomes the official candidate. Trump is far ahead of the other Republican candidates in the polls – but a lot can still happen.
Zelenskyy denies sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has denied his government’s involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. “I am President and I give orders accordingly. Ukraine has done nothing of the sort. I would never act like that, »said Zelenskyj in an interview with “Bild”, “Welt” and “Politico”. When asked about a relevant article in the Washington Post, he demanded evidence of Ukrainian involvement.
The Washington Post article, published on Tuesday, said the US government learned of a plan by the Ukrainian military from a European intelligence service three months before the September 2022 explosions. The report said Ukraine was planning a secret attack on the pipelines using divers reporting directly to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Even if the United States was initially unable to independently confirm the reports, they shared the information with the intelligence services of Germany and other countries, according to the Washington Post. Members of the Bundestag were also informed as a result.
At the end of September 2022, a total of four leaks in the two pipelines were discovered after explosions near the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. On October 10, the Federal Public Prosecutor in Germany initiated preliminary proceedings against unknown persons. It is about the suspicion of intentionally causing an explosive explosion and anti-constitutional sabotage.
National Security Council communications director John Kirby declined to comment on Tuesday’s Washington Post report: “There is no way I’m going to sit on the podium and engage in a discussion of intelligence matters,” he said. Kirby stressed that the newspaper itself reported that US intelligence could not confirm the information.
What will be important on Thursday
The rescue work after the flood disaster is in full swing. The water level in the flooded area is expected to stabilize. At the same time, the situation on the front sections has deteriorated in many places. According to experts, the expected major offensive by the Ukrainians is imminent. Fighting is taking place both in southern Ukraine and in the Bakhmut region.
The Ukraine update: what happened on Wednesday night
Water level in flood areas continues to rise after destruction of Kachowka dam
After the partial destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine, the water level in the flood areas downstream of the dam on the banks of the Dnipro continued to rise on Wednesday. The situation is most difficult in the Korabel district of the city of Kherson, said the Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Ukrainian President, Oleksiy Kuleba. The water reached a level of 3.5 meters there, and more than 1,000 houses were flooded. Meanwhile, the United States and Great Britain said they still had no evidence who was responsible for the destruction of the dam.
Ukrainian authorities had initiated the evacuation of around 17,000 people on Tuesday, and another 25,000 residents were to be taken away from the side occupied by Russia.
The Kachowka dam on the Dnipro in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory was partially destroyed in an explosion on Tuesday night, and large amounts of water escaped. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated to safety on the Ukrainian and Russian-held sides of the Dnipro River on Tuesday. The USA warned of “possibly many deaths”, the UN spoke of humanitarian consequences for “hundreds of thousands of people”.
Selenskyj after the dam blast: “We will still liberate our whole country”
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine will not let the explosion of the dam on the Dnipro in the south of the country prevent it from recapturing occupied territories. “The disaster at the Kakhovska hydroelectric power station caused by Russian terrorists will not stop Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said in his evening video message on Tuesday.
According to Zelenskyj, the dam was blown up to slow down the Ukrainian counter-offensive. “We will still liberate our entire country,” he announced. Such attacks could not prevent Russia’s defeat, but only meant that Moscow would have to pay higher damages in the end. The Ukrainian Attorney General has already appealed to the International Criminal Court to investigate the explosion.
Kiev and Moscow blame each other before the UN Security Council
Before the UN Security Council in New York, Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam. The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Serhiy Kislizia, spoke of an “act of ecological and technological terrorism” at an emergency meeting called at short notice on Tuesday. The blast was “another example of Russia’s genocide against the Ukrainians.” Russian ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia said the incident was due to “deliberate sabotage by Kiev” and classified as a war crime. The dam was used for an “unimaginable crime”.
Ministry: Fields could become desert after dam destruction
According to initial estimates, the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture expects around 10,000 hectares of agricultural land to be flooded on the northern bank of the Dnipro in the Cherson region. On the southern bank, in the Russian-occupied area, a multiple of this area will be flooded, the ministry announced on its website on Tuesday evening. Detailed information should therefore be announced in the coming days when the ministry has got an accurate picture of the situation.
In addition, “the man-made disaster will disrupt the water supply of 31 field irrigation systems in the Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions,” the ministry said. “The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant will mean that the fields in southern Ukraine could turn into deserts as early as next year,” it said.
What will be important on Wednesday
Flooding after the dam burst in Kachowka will cause major flooding downstream. Rescue workers have to evacuate dozens of towns to save the people in the region.
The consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine for the environment and climate are also of interest to scientists. Researchers want to present findings on the direct and indirect emissions of the war at the UN climate negotiations in Bonn.