May 21, 2024

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Russia says Ukraine hit the dam near Kherson with US missiles

Russia says Ukraine hit the dam near Kherson with US missiles

On Sunday, Russian state media claimed that Ukraine had struck a dam near the strategic city of Kherson with US-made missiles, citing officials in the region.

Ukraine has not yet commented on the reports, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Moscow has previously been accused of laying mines in the dam for a possible “pseudo-science” attack that Moscow blames on Ukraine.

RIA Novosti and other state media said that in the alleged attack, Ukrainian forces used six high-mobility artillery missile systems, a key system supplied by the United States to Kyiv during its fight against the Russian invasion, including a missile that destroyed the dam lock.

“The armed forces of Ukraine do not abandon their attempts to destroy the dam of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station and create the prerequisites for a humanitarian catastrophe,” the regional authorities told RIA Novosti.

Zelensky and Russian officials earlier indicated that an explosion in the dam, which is located on the Dnieper River, could cause flooding downstream, including in Kherson.

“The dam of this hydropower plant contains about 18 million cubic meters of water,” Zelensky said last month. If the Russian terrorists blew up this dam, then more than 80 settlements, including Kherson, will be in the flash flood zone. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people may be affected.”

In the early days of its conquest, Russia quickly captured Kherson, crucial to Moscow’s aspirations to advance westward toward the main port of Odessa. It remains the only regional capital controlled by Russia.

Ukrainian forces made partial gains in the area as part of a sweeping counteroffensive in the fall that included a significant territorial advance into the northeast.

In recent days Russian forces have moved some troops and equipment across the Dnieper and out of Kherson, but Ukrainian officials suspect Russia may have been setting a trapcreating the illusion of surrender while simultaneously ramping up reinforcements for a major battle to come.

Over the weekend, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry accused Russia of “mass” destruction of private boats located on the banks of the Dnieper River in the region.