VIDEO | Andonovic: Russians and Ukrainians are (not) comfortable with the demolition of the dam in Ukraine

Photo Free Press

Mutual accusations continue between Kyiv and Moscow over the collapse of the large Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River in the Kherson region.

Ukraine and the West have accused Moscow of being unscrupulous in its intentions and willing to do whatever it takes to save itself from what they say is defeat by a major Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russia denies being behind these attacks and accuses Kiev of detonating the dam.

These mutual accusations are reminiscent of those of last year surrounding the unresolved explosions of the North Stream gas pipeline. The West pointed to Russia as the culprit for this and for the destruction of the dam. In both cases, Moscow identically argued that the attacks on the "Northern Stream" and the dam harm Russia, so the Western accusations "fall into the water".

In the case of the collapse of the Kakhovka dam, Russia can point to at least two reasons that harm its interests. Flooding downstream forced the Russian army to evacuate some of the soldiers who held certain positions there, as well as civilians to the east, away from Kherson and the wide banks of the Dnieper River.

The collapse of the dam could affect the water supply of occupied Crimea, a dry peninsula that relies on fresh water from canals near the collapsed dam. Since Russia illegally annexed it in 2014, it has become a heavily fortified part of the territory that both Russia and Ukraine call their own.

The collapse of the Kakhovka dam is increasingly associated with announcements of the Ukrainian summer counteroffensive, which has apparently already begun.

For this counteroffensive to succeed, it must end Russian control of much of the territory that Russian forces seized last year and linked Crimea to Ukraine's Donbas region to the east. If Ukraine can find a way to break through Russian defense lines south of Zaporozhye and divide that territory, it can isolate Crimea and score a major strategic victory.

The Russian military command, having learned from previous defeats since the invasion began last February, has assessed where Ukraine is likely to attack and has spent the last months building strong fortifications to block any Ukrainian advance towards the Sea of ​​Azov.

Against these estimates of Moscow, it cannot be said with certainty where Ukraine planned to send its forces on the western side of this defense. The military command in Kiev carefully hides its plans and thus keeps Russia in suspense for a long time.

But the destruction of the dam, by whoever did it, now makes that option much more problematic.

The Dnieper is already a wide river in the southern part of Ukraine, and the crossing of the armored brigades across it, under the fierce blows of the Russian artillery and rocket attacks, will be an impossible mission for the Ukrainians.

With the dam destroyed and vast areas of land downstream flooded, the area on the left (east) bank opposite the city of Kherson becomes virtually inaccessible to Ukrainian armored personnel carriers.

It should be mentioned that the Russians did something similar to this in the history of the same river.

In 1941, Soviet troops blew up a dam across the Dnieper River to block the advance of Nazi troops. Thousands of Soviet citizens reportedly died in the floods.

One thing is certain. Whoever mined the Kakhovka dam disrupted strategic plans to conquer southern Ukraine, forcing both sides to regroup and possibly delay the implementation of Ukraine's long-announced counteroffensive.

As for today's bulletin, the water level in Nova Kakhovka has started to drop since this morning, after yesterday's increase due to the collapse of the dam. Shortly after the collapse of the dam, yesterday the water level in that town rose by 11 meters.

According to preliminary data, seven people disappeared in the vicinity of Nova Kakhovka after the destruction of the hydropower plant, the mayor of the city Vladimir Leontiev informed that during the night the water level in Nova Kakhovka dropped by 35 centimeters.

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