Ukrainian forces fired HIMARS rocket launchers at the Kachovska hydroelectric power station in southern Ukraine on Sunday and hit the dam’s sluice, Russian news agencies say. They refer to the statement of an unnamed representative of the rescue services in the Kherson region, which was largely controlled by Russian troops during the invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow and the Russian occupation administration of the controlled Ukrainian areas have repeatedly warned in the past that Ukraine wants to carry out an attack on the dam. Kyiv denied this and, on the contrary, accused Russian forces of preparing a strike on the power plant’s dam, which it said mined the area. The mutual accusations of the warring parties cannot be immediately independently verified.
“The Ukrainian armed forces do not abandon attempts to destroy the dam of the Kachovska hydropower plant and prepare the ground for a humanitarian disaster,” the RIA Novosti agency quoted an unnamed representative of the Kherson region as saying on Sunday. “Today at 10:00 a.m. local time (09:00 CET), the forces launched a strike with six HIMARS missiles. Five of them were shot down, but one hit the sluice of the Kachovská dam, which was damaged. Information about the victims is being clarified“, according to the agency, the official told journalists.
Kyiv has not yet commented on the latest accusations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed earlier that Russian forces were planning an attack on the dam. According to him, the destruction of the dam could lead to the flooding of more than 80 municipalities, including the city of Kherson. Recently, Russian forces have been intensively attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.