A massive explosion at the Nova Makhorka dam and hydroelectric power plant in southern Ukraine, has led to major flooding and put thousands of people in danger.
Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being behind this alleged ‘act of terrorism’. Ukraine president Vladimir Zelensky wrote on telegram: “this is just one Russian act of terrorism. This is just one Russian war crime. Now Russia is guilty of brutal ecocide. Any comments are superfluous.”
Russia has denied these accusations, claiming that Ukraine staged an attack in order to cut off water to Crimea as well as distract from their counteroffensive which may be underway. US and Western officials have yet to reach a definitive conclusion as to who was behind it; however, many suspect Russia due to their history of targeting Ukrainian energy and civilian infrastructure.
Ukraine had previously claimed Russia has plans to destroy the dam ahead of its retreat from Kherson last fall and warned since 2019 that it was mined by Russia. While most of the recent fighting in Ukraine has been happening away from the dam, experts suggest that should this disaster persist, it could tie up Ukrainian resources and make it harder for the troops to advance in the future.