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The Kakchovka dam attack, threat to Western Europe

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Russia accuses Ukraine and Ukraine accuses Russia over the terrorist attack on the kakchovka dam. But for which party does this attack, which entails an enormous ecological disaster, offer the most benefits? The attack on the Kakchovka dam will also have consequences for Europe. In this article we will discuss this further.

The Kakchovka Dam, also known as the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, is a major hydroelectric dam located on the Dnieper River in Ukraine. It is situated near the town of Nova Kakchovka, in the Kherson Oblast. The dam was constructed between 1950 and 1956 as part of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station project, which aimed to harness the energy potential of the Dnieper River for power generation and irrigation. The Kakchovka Dam is one of the key components of this complex.
Besides its primary function of generating electricity, the Kakchovka Dam also played a crucial role in regulating the water flow of the Dnieper River, ensuring water supply for irrigation, navigation, and other purposes downstream. It has helped facilitate agricultural development in the region and has contributed significantly to Ukraine’s power generation capacity.

Looking at the locations of both Ukrainian and Russian forces, we can conclude that both sides could benefit from the destruction of the dam. It currently makes it a lot more difficult for Ukraine’s troops to push through with its counter offensive to the eastern regions that are mainly in Russian hands. On the other hand, it also prevents Ukraine from pushing through to Crimea, which is also under Russian control and has traditionally been a strategic location for the Russians because of its Black Sea Naval Fleet.

In October 2022, there was already a suspicion that the Russians had placed explosives on the dam. The idea behind this would be that if Ukrainian troops advanced, the dam would be exploded. At the moment it seems that Russia is not going to meet its goals in Ukraine, which may be why it has come to this act. In October 2022, the Ukrainian government reacted to accusations against Russia for installing explosives on the dam as follows:

“It is essential to emphasize that from a Ukrainian perspective, there is no logical reason to engage in the destruction of the dam. Such an act would inflict immense humanitarian and ecological devastation, causing significant damage to crucial industrial regions. Conversely, Russia has consistently targeted vital infrastructure in Ukraine, including a previous attack on a dam

For Russia, there are also disadvantages to a dam breach. Territories on the east bank occupied by Russia will also be flooded. In addition, freshwater is led from the reservoir behind the dam to the Crimea via a canal. If the water level drops, the drinking water supply in Crimea will be endangered. After the Russian annexation of the peninsula in 2014, Ukraine also cut off the water supply until this year’s Russian invasion.

The destroyed Nova Kakchovka dam in Ukraine is a humanitarian, environmental, economic and agricultural disaster.

In addition to the immediate consequences, Ukraine’s agriculture ministry warns of serious long-term consequences for agriculture in one of the country’s most fertile areas, the BBC writes. Both in the lower and higher areas and both on the Ukrainian side and in areas annexed by Russia.

It will be some time before the full impact is clear, but it is suspected that it will be disastrous for an arable area as large as the entire Netherlands. The Kakchovka reservoir has a length of 240 km, longer than the distance Amsterdam – Maastricht, and a width of 23 km. With 31 irrigation systems, the reservoir supplies 584,000 hectares of agricultural land with water. Many farms and people depend on the 4 channels that come from the Kakchovka reservoir. There are warnings of failed harvests and that fields in the south will turn into deserts as early as next year.

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