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White House says it is still assessing origin of Kakhovka dam destruction, but Russia ultimately to blame

by Liliane Bivings June 8, 2023 5:33 AM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

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The White House says that while it is still assessing who is responsible for the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Russia is ultimately to blame as the dam was under Russian-occupation, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing on June 7.

"Russia has no business to be (in Ukraine) in the first place. This dam was under Russia’s control, and they bear responsibility for the destruction caused by this war," Jean-Pierre said.

She also said that the United States "will do everything that we can to help the people of Ukraine, certainly," amid the devastation and destruction brought on by the dam's demolition.

Ukraine's military reported early in the morning of June 6 that Russia had blown up the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine's Kherson Oblast, causing massive flooding of areas downstream of the Dnipro River, including the city of Kherson.

Following the news, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that U.S. President Joe Biden's administration's could not "say conclusively" who was responsible for the explosion at the dam.  

"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," Kirby said.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksii Danilov said on June 6 that all of Russia's claims that Ukraine was responsible for blowing up the dam were "nonsense."

"(Russians) are suffocating with anger because they cannot solve the issue through military means. That is why they are inventing various nonsense without any grounds," he said.

‘They are destroying us.’ People plea to escape flooded Russian-occupied areas
Editor’s note: For this story, we spoke to people living or having family in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. For their safety, they are identified by first name only. After destroying the Nova Kakhovka dam and stranding thousands of Ukrainians in the catastrophic flood zone, Russians prevent…
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