Russian-occupied Kherson loses power after alleged ‘sabotage’ | News about the war between Russia and Ukraine
The Russian-appointed Kherson administration blamed Ukraine, accusing it of attacking the Kahovka hydroelectric dam.
Administration installed by Russia Ukrainian Kherson the region said the city of Kherson had lost water and electricity after what it said was an act of “sabotage”.
In a statement to Telegram, the Russian Kherson administration said a “terrorist attack” damaged three transmission lines in the region.
The attack was said to have been carried out by Ukraine, although no evidence was provided.
The outages are “the result of an attack organized by the Ukrainian side on the Berislav-Kahovka highway in which three concrete poles of high-voltage power lines were damaged,” the statement said.
It is the first time such a blackout has occurred in Kherson – which fell to Russian forces within days of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Kherson is one of the four regions of Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed last month.
Russian state news agency TASS quoted Kherson’s Moscow-appointed governor, Vladimir Saldo, as saying there were plans to restore the city’s electricity supply by the end of the day.
Energy experts are working on a “swift” solution to the problem, Russian-backed authorities said, urging people to “remain calm”.
TASS specifically cited emergency services in the region as saying that 10 settlements, including the city of Kherson, which had a pre-war population of 280,000, were left without electricity.
Russian officials have in recent weeks repeatedly warned civilians to leave Khersonamid what they say is preparations for a Ukrainian offensive on the city, the only regional capital Russia has captured since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
News of the shutdown followed reports that the Kahovka Dam in the Russian-controlled Kherson region had been “damaged” by a Ukrainian strike.
“Today at 10:00 (08:00 GMT) six HIMARS missiles were hit. Air defense units shot down five missiles, one of which hit the dam of the Kahovka dam, which was damaged,” Russian news agencies of the local emergency services reported.
The RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Moscow-backed local official as saying the damage was not “critical”.
The Kahovka hydroelectric dam in southern Ukraine was captured by Moscow forces at the start of their offensive. It supplies water to Russian-annexed Crimea.
The two warring sides have been exchanging accusations over the Russian-held dam for weeks, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said.
“The Ukrainians said the Russians had mined it and were going to blow it up, while Russia said Ukrainian forces were planning to fire a missile at it,” Fawcett said, reporting from Kiev.
But if the dam were to be breached, Fawcett said, it would be a major disaster for both sides, “so there are still doubts as to whether either of them would really want to do it”.
The dam holds 19 million cubic meters of water and is located a short distance from Kherson, Fawcett said.
Ukraine has warned about this in recent weeks Moscow forces intended to blow up that strategic facility to cause flooding.
Russian strikes last month destroyed about a third of Ukraine’s power plants, and the government urged Ukrainians to conserve electricity as much as possible.
But until now, Ukraine has rarely attacked Russian-held civilian energy infrastructure in territory annexed by Moscow, preferring to target Russian military supply lines.
Saldo said that the destruction of the dam would lead to flooding of the left bank of the Dnieper River.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last month that Russian forces had detonated the Kahovka hydroelectric plant with the intention of blowing it up.
Its destruction could cause flash floods for hundreds of thousands of people, he warned.
He said a water cut in the south could also affect cooling systems Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
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