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Official: Ukrainian exports through Dnipro River won't be possible 'for a long time'

by Martin Fornusek June 8, 2023 7:26 PM 2 min read
Destroyed Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.
An image shows the damage to the destroyed Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in Kherson Oblast on the morning of June 6, 2023. (Energoatom)
This audio is created with AI assistance

As a result of the Kakhovka dam destruction, the Dnipro River will not be navigable downstream of the city of Zaporizhzhia "for a long time," Shipping Administration Head Yevhenii Ihnatenko said on June 8.

This will effectively block Ukrainian exports through the Dnipro River.

The river will remain navigable up until the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant in Zaporizhzhia, he added.

"Such a terrorist act of the Russian Federation will have catastrophic consequences for the whole region, and for the future restoration of shipping in particular," Ihnatenko wrote on social media.

The sharp flooding wrought extensive damage to the infrastructure of ports in the area and caused many ships to sink. After the water levels drop, many more ships will run aground.

Ukrhydroenergo: Kakhovka Reservoir to disappear in 2-4 days
The flood peak from the spilling of the Kakhovka Reservoir will happen in the morning of June 7, Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Ukrhydroenergo wrote on June 6.

"The Kahkovka gate was the last one on the Dnipro River that let the ships out to the open sea. Effectively, they closed the route for Ukrainian exports."

The Kakhovka Reservoir, located downstream of Zaporizhzhia, is already experiencing water level drops by 10 centimeters every hour. Civilian vessels in the reservoir will be re-based to Zaporizhzhia so they do not run aground.

Russian forces destroyed the Kakhovka dam in the early hours of June 6, sparking a humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine.

The 2,155 square kilometers large Kakhovka Reservoir is expected to become empty in a matter of days due to the dam's breach.

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