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NYT: Satellites detected explosion at Kakhovka dam shortly before collapse

by Martin Fornusek June 10, 2023 12:30 AM 1 min read
Satellite image of the destroyed Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast following its demolition carried out by Russian forces on June 6, 2023. (Source: Planet Labs PBC)
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U.S. spy satellites detected an explosion at the Kakhovka dam just before it collapsed on June 6, the New York Times (NYT) wrote on June 9, citing a senior U.S. official.

According to the NYT, the satellites, equipped with infrared sensors, detected a heat signature consistent with a major explosion.

The official said that, while there is no solid evidence about who is responsible for the destruction, U.S. intelligence analysts suspect Russia.

Experts interviewed by the NYT on June 7 presented an enclosed internal blast as the most plausible explanation for the dam's breach.

Ukraine's authorities reported shortly after the explosion on June 6 that Russian forces destroyed the Kakhovka hydropower plant. An alleged call between Russian soldiers intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence services on June 9 supposedly confirms Moscow's complicity.

The U.S. government has so far refused to say conclusively who is responsible for the Kakhovka disaster but asserted that Russia ultimately bears blame as it was in control of the dam.

Satellite images show massive flooding of Ukraine’s south
Satellite images shared by Planet Labs show the massive extent of the damage caused by the breach of the Kakhovka dam on June 6.
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