A major dam in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine was destroyed early Tuesday, prompting mass evacuations and fears for large-scale devastation as Ukraine accused Moscow’s forces of committing an act of “ecocide”, writes CNN
Residents downstream from the Nova Kakhova dam on the Dnipro River in Kherson were told to “do everything you can to save your life,” according to the head of Ukraine’s Kherson region military administration, as video showed a deluge of water gushing from a huge breach in the dam.
Two videos posted to social media and geolocated by CNN showed the destroyed dam wall and fast-moving torrents of water flowing out into the river. Multiple buildings at the entrance to the dam were also heavily damaged.
The critical Nova Kakhova dam spans the Dnipro River, a major waterway running through southeastern Ukraine and there are multiple towns and cities downstream, including Kherson, a city of some 300,000 people before Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.
Ukraine’s Operational Command South on Tuesday confirmed the dam’s destruction in a post on its official Facebook page, saying they were assessing the scale of the damage and calculating likely areas of flooding.
Following the dam breach, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said its destruction “only confirms for the whole world” that Russian forces “must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land”.