Nova Kakhovka (Ukraine): According to media reports, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has reported that the recent collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam has resulted in the loss of at least 16 lives, with 31 individuals still missing. The catastrophic breach, which occurred on June 6, has devastated villages, submerged farmland, and disrupted the essential services of power and clean water for tens of thousands of people.
The cause of the dam’s collapse remains uncertain, leaving authorities to explore two possible scenarios. The Ukrainian government has claimed that Russia deliberately targeted the dam, blowing it up in a state of panic before an anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. Conversely, Russia has accused Ukraine of launching mass artillery attacks on the structure to hinder the water supply to Crimea and divert attention from the ongoing conflict.
Preliminary findings from a team of legal experts supporting Ukraine’s prosecutors point to the likelihood that explosives planted by Russians were the primary cause behind the Kakhovka dam’s tragic collapse. These conclusions were released on Friday, shedding light on the potential involvement of external factors in the devastating incident. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of orchestrating the destruction of the dam, claiming it to be a Western-backed manoeuvre to escalate the conflict.
Ukraine has launched a thorough investigation into the blast, treating it as a war crime and a potential case of criminal environmental destruction. The gravity of the situation prompted the evacuation of 3,614 individuals, including 474 children and 80 people with reduced mobility, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.