Both Ukrainian and Russian forces have reported that a major dam built during the Soviet period and located in the region of southern Ukraine that is under Russian control collapsed on Tuesday, causing a flow of water to be released across the active conflict zone.
Both sides pointed the finger of blame at the other for the collapse of the dam.
The footage obtained via social media was not independently authenticated, but it appeared to show a series of powerful explosions taking place close to the Kakhovka dam. Other film showed water gushing through the wreckage of the dam while bystanders reacted in dismay and occasionally used harsh language.
The dam was constructed in 1956 as a component of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant on the Dnipro River. It has a height of 30 meters (yards) and a length of 3.2 kilometers (miles).
It is home to a reservoir with a capacity of 18 km3, which provides water not only to the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula but also to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor in Ukraine. The Crimean peninsula was seized by Russia in 2014.
Russian soldiers were responsible for blowing up the dam.
“The Kakhovka (dam) was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the South command of the Ukrainian Armed troops stated on their Facebook page on Tuesday.
“We are working to get a better understanding of the scope of the damage, the speed and volume of the water, and the likely areas that will be flooded,”
Russian news outlets said that the dam, which was under the control of Russian forces, had been damaged by shelling. However, a Russian-installed official claimed that it was a terrorist strike, which is the Russian term for an attack by Ukraine.
Reuters was not immediately successful in validating the combat accounts provided by either side.