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Destruction of Kakhovka dam causes almost $14 billion in damage

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 17, 2023 10:00 PM 2 min read
Maxar satellite imagery of the flooded homes in Russian-occupied Oleshky, Kherson Oblast, following the Kakhovka dam destruction, taken on June 7, 2023. (Satellite image: Maxar Technologies)
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Russia's destruction of the Kakhovka dam has caused almost $14 billion in damages to Ukraine, according to a report published by the United Nations on Oct. 17.

The report, jointly compiled by the UN and the Ukrainian government, found that the immediate damage associated with the dam's destruction and subsequent flooding caused about $2.79 billion in damage to infrastructure, with total losses exceeding $11 billion.

The figure also includes the long-lasting environmental impact, which can be hard to quantify.

In particular, there were about $1.1 billion in damages to housing stock and $1.26 in losses to energy infrastructure.

Beyond factoring in the short- and medium-term damages, the report also calculated the enormous costs of recovery and reconstruction, which top $5 billion. More than $1.8 billion will be required in the immediate to short term.

The report found that the resulting flooding directly affected over 100,000 people, which includes 29 people whose death can be directly attributed to the destruction of the dam and its aftermath, and 28 who were injured.

Almost a million people lost access to safe drinking water, and 140,000 lost power.

There was also considerable damage to Ukraine's cultural heritage, such as the flooding of the home-turned-museum of famed Ukrainian painter Polina Raiko.

The report added that the recovery and reconstruction could likely continue until 2033.

On June 6, Russian forces blew up the dam connected to the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, unleashing a torrent of flood-water that impacted 80 settlements across the Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts.

‘They are destroying us.’ People plea to escape flooded Russian-occupied areas
Editor’s note: For this story, we spoke to people living or having family in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. For their safety, they are identified by first name only. After destroying the Nova Kakhovka dam and stranding thousands of Ukrainians in the catastrophic flood zone, Russians prevent…

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