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Military intelligence: Russia preparing evacuations, sabotage in Crimea amid Kakhovka dam breach

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 12, 2023 1:41 PM 2 min read
The Crimean Titan plant in occupied Armiansk, Crimea, published June 12, 2023. (Source: Main Directorate of Intelligence/Telegram)
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Russia is preparing evacuations in the occupied city of Armiansk in northern Crimea amid the Kakhovka dam breach, as well as "sabotage operations" at a factory in the region, Ukraine's military intelligence reported on June 12.

A shortage of water coming through the North Crimean Canal (NCC) has critically disrupted the functioning of the Crimean Titan plant, a factory producing titanium dioxide, according to the report.

Evacuation preparations are reportedly underway for Russian proxy leaders in the area, as well as the local population.

The military intelligence added that Russia may put a full halt on the plant's production, adding that the plant's engineers have been laying explosives in the facility.

"A terrorist attack on the Crimean Titan enterprise, which the Russian invaders are preparing, will mean an artificial man-made catastrophe, terrible in its consequences," Ukraine's military intelligence wrote, as around 200 tons of ammonia, stored in the facility, could be released into the atmosphere.

Such a disaster would threaten Armiansk, the Krasnoperekopsk district in Crimea, and the southern districts of Kherson Oblast, the intelligence report said.

Russian forces destroyed the Kakhovka Dam on June 6, triggering one of the largest man-made environmental and humanitarian disasters in Ukraine's history.

The breach represents a serious water supply crisis for Crimea, disrupting the water flow from through the NCC to the occupied peninsula.

On June 11, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that NCC draws water from the Kakhovka reservoir "from an inlet higher than the bed of the reservoir." By June 9, however, the water level in the reservoir had "likely dropped below the level of the inlet," and "water will soon stop flowing to Crimea," the ministry added.

The local proxies lack a clear plan for countering the freshwater shortage and instead downplay the crisis, the Ukrainian military's National Resistance Center reported on June 10.

Zelensky: ‘Russia needs to bear full responsibility for ecocide’
In a June 8 address to the world’s environmental protection community, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia needs to bear full responsibility for the ecocide it caused through the Kakhovka dam destruction.
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