By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 21 October 2022 • 9:08
Kakhovka hydroelectric station – Credit cc / GennadyL
In his daily social media update, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, October 21 that: “According to our information, the aggregate and dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant were mined by Russian terrorists.”
He continued saying: “If the dam is destroyed… the North Crimean canal will simply disappear.
“This would be a catastrophe on a grand scale.”
Destruction of the dam would not only result in the loss of the power and the water for the irrigation system, it would release a mega amount of water that would cause untold destruction downstream.
The dam is used to provide both power and irrigation to the southern areas of Ukraine and Crimea, as well as allowing for navigation along the deep water channel.
Built between 1950 and 1956, the dam and hydroelectric station are profitable bringing 6.1 million UAH to local government budgets and 44.6 million UAH to the national income. The dam also provides direct employment for more than 240 people and produces 357 MW of power.
The dam is believed to be structurally sound but the waterways are understood to have been damaged during the strife, making it less navigable than before.
Zelenskyy had warned the European Union that “Russia’s leadership has given the order to turn the energy system itself into a battlefield.”
The destruction of the power grid and the possible destruction of the dam could result in millions more fleeing the country, placing further pressure on Ukraine’s European neighbours.
The claims by Ukraine that Russia has planted mines at Kakhovka Hydroelectric dam have not been verified, however, given the destruction by Russian forces of the country’s infrastructure and utilities it could well be that they have plans to destroy the facility should they be driven from the region.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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