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U.S. President Joe Biden's administration "cannot say conclusively" who was responsible for the breach of the Kakhovka dam, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told the media on June 6.
"We've seen the reports that Russia was responsible for the explosion at the dam, which I would remind, Russian forces took over illegally last year, and have been occupying since then. We're doing the best we can to assess those reports," Bloomberg cited Kirby.
While it is too soon to know how the event will affect Ukraine's planned counteroffensive, it is clear that it will cause significant damage to the Ukrainian people and the region, Kirby said.
Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported early in the morning of June 6 that Russian forces blew up the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine's Kherson Oblast, causing massive flooding of villages downstream of the Dnipro River.
The Russia-installed proxy in Nova Kakhovka first denied that the dam was destroyed, only to claim later that it was targeted by Ukrainian shelling.
National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksii Danilov called Russia's claims of Ukraine's complicity in the dam's destruction "nonsense."
According to Danilov, Russia prepared plans for the sabotage of the dam already in the fall of 2022. The Kremlin decided to execute them now in order to hinder Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive, he added.