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SBU: In intercepted phone call, Russian soldier confirms Russia destroyed Kakhovka dam

by Dinara Khalilova June 9, 2023 1:21 PM 2 min read
Flooding in Kherson Oblast on June 6, 2023 after Russian forces blew up the Kakhovka d (Photo by Valentyna Gurova/Suspilne Ukraine/JSC "UA:PBC"/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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In an intercepted phone call published by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), an alleged Russian serviceman said a Russian sabotage group had destroyed the Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast.

"They (the Ukrainian military) didn't strike it. That was our sabotage group. They wanted to scare people with this dam," said the man identified by the SBU as a Russian soldier. "It didn't go according to plan, and (they did) more than they planned for."

The man also told his interlocutor that the dam destruction had resulted in "thousands" of animals having died at a "safari park" downstream.

The dam of the Russian-occupied Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Dnipro River was destroyed on June 6, causing a humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine.

According to Ukraine's Southern Command, the dam was blown up by Russian forces.

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.

Moscow-installed illegal government in the occupied parts of Kherson Oblast blamed the destruction on Ukraine's alleged shelling. However, the claim was quickly refuted by Kyiv, reminding that Russian troops had planted explosives at the dam already last year, according to the data obtained by Ukraine's intelligence. Ukrainian officials repeatedly said that such a strengthened structure as the Kakhovka plan't dam was impossible to destroy by outside attacks.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized international media for echoing Russian narratives about the Kakhovka dam explosion, saying it "puts facts and propaganda on equal footing."

Mass flooding caused by the dam breach may complicate the Ukrainian military's expected counteroffensive in the country's south.

Russian troops occupied the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in the first days of the full-scale invasion and have controlled it since then.

Stephen Zhao: Tepid response to Kakhovka dam explosion paves way for nuclear disaster
On the morning of June 6 at around 2:50 a.m., an explosion erupts at the center of the Kakhovka dam, leading to its destruction and the flooding of much of Kherson Oblast. Having been mined by Russia over the course of last year and timed exactly to disrupt
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