Who blew up the dam? Experts bring explosive “mine theory” into play

Released in October 2022 the mirror” an article entitled: “What will happen if the dam at Nowa Kachowka breaks”. It was about the Ukraine war and a wall near Cherson.

Should the “Kachowa Dam” break, numerous towns in the region would be flooded by a meter-high wave, the report read. Russia and Ukraine accused each other of wanting to blow up the dam.

At that time it was still a theoretical scenario. Today it is the bitter reality. The dam near Cherson has been destroyed, as has the adjacent hydroelectric power station. And the world is puzzled: who really blew up the dam?

Counter-offensive: “With this, Russia shortens the front line”

It is still unclear who is responsible for the explosion. As in the run-up, Kiev and Moscow blame each other.

Whoever is telling the truth cannot be independently verified. However, there are cogent arguments for both scenarios. The areas on the left and right of the Dnipro, which are now threatened by flooding, speak in favor of Russia as the cause of the blast.

The water masses mean that “Ukraine cannot carry out a counter-offensive on this front section in the next few weeks,” says Gerhard Mangott, professor of political science at the University of Innsbruck, in an interview with FOCUS online.

And further: “In this way, Russia shortens the front line on which Ukraine can carry out a military advance.”

Did Ukraine want to cut off the water supply to the Russians?

However, Mangott points out, blowing up the dam could lead to problems with Crimea’s water supply.

The Black Sea peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, is supplied with water from the Kakhovka reservoir. Against this background, blowing up the dam would be “again in the interest of Ukraine,” says Mangott.

Nevertheless, in his eyes the question arises as to whether such an action “could have been worth enough to the Ukrainians to accept the disadvantage that an advance across the Dnipro to the left bank will not be possible in the foreseeable future”.

In addition, Ukraine cut off the water supply to Crimea in 2014. The North Crimean Channel was as good as dry. There is no question that the Black Sea Peninsula had a problem, but it survived the supply crisis. In addition, the southern Ukrainian regions of Dnipro, Cherson and Zaporizhia are supplied with water from the Kakhovka reservoir. Would Ukraine have deliberately risked water shortages in its own areas?

Russian mines may have been “swept away” by detonation

Perhaps another point was more crucial. “There is speculation that the destruction of the dam could facilitate the Ukrainian offensive, as parts of it were flooded by Russian minefields,” Alexander Libman told FOCUS online.

He is Professor of Political Science with a focus on Eastern Europe and Russia at Freie Universität Berlin. Russia correspondent Rainer Munz also referred in one Post on “ntv” on possible mines that have now been “washed away”, as well as Russian military material that could not be brought to safety in time.

That would speak for a Ukrainian maneuver. However, Libman emphasizes that the information situation is currently very thin, which makes it difficult to make clear assessments and statements. Much is still speculation.

Another devastating element in this war

The only thing that is certain is that the victims of the blast are, as is so often the case in this war, civilians. Libman speaks of “massive negative consequences for the population, both in the areas controlled by Ukraine and in the areas occupied by Russia”.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal fears floods in up to 80 towns. The destruction will lead to an environmental disaster, he said on Tuesday.

The military governor of the region, Olexander Prokudin, warned that the water level could reach a critical level within five hours. And the Russian occupation chief of Nowa Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev, warned of supply bottlenecks in Crimea.

Gerhard Mangott also speaks of a “further devastating element in the war that has been going on for many months”. “Large evacuations will be necessary and it will not be possible for residents to return to their flooded villages and towns for a long time,” he says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *