Floodwaters surged over the conflict zone after the Soviet-era Kakhovka Dam on the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine was breached. Russian officials offered conflicting explanations, speculating that Ukrainian shelling or previous damage may have caused the dam to be destroyed, while Ukrainian officials accused Russia of doing so. In this article, you can read the details of the Kakhovka dam breach and its consequences, from the IAS exam perspective.
Ukraine Dam Collapse
Ukraine accused Russia of being responsible, claiming that “Russian terrorists” had damaged the dam and that Russian occupation forces were to blame.
- Russian-installed officials gave various explanations, with some accusing Ukraine of shelling the dam while others claimed that the dam broke under the weight of water and pre-existing damage.
Nova Kakhovka Dam
The 3.2-kilometre (two-mile) long and 30-metre (98-foot) high Kakhovka Dam was constructed in 1956 as a component of the Khakhovka Hydroelectric Power Project. The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant is in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, which is currently under Russian control.
- The dam’s reservoir provides water to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor, which is also under Russian control, as well as the Crimean peninsula, which Russia has claimed as its own since 2014. For details on the Russian annexation of Crimea, check the link.
- The reservoir has a capacity of 18 cubic km, which is equivalent to the size of Utah’s Great Salt Lake.
Evacuations and the Effects on People
- The increase in flood levels poses a serious risk, with thousands of people in the impacted areas potentially being affected.
- To safeguard the safety of civilians, evacuation efforts started on both sides of the battle line.
- In the southern Ukrainian province of Kherson, 22,000 people living in 14 settlements, according to Russian-installed officials, were at risk of flooding, while the Ukrainian Prime Minister highlighted that up to 80 settlements may be in jeopardy.
Threats to Other Hotspots
- The reservoir serves as a source of cooling water for the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia.
- The factory is situated on the Russian-controlled southern edge of the conflict area.
- According to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Russia’s state nuclear energy business, there is no imminent nuclear safety danger at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Kakhovka Dam Collapse [UPSC Current Affairs]:- Download PDF Here
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