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Kakhovka dam destruction: russians miscalculated the scale

If the Kremlin says something officially about the Kakhovka Dam, we must take it exactly the other way round. And when Peskov says that the presidential administration doesn’t know the situation in this matter, contact the Ministry of Defense or something else – it means they know the information very well.

And after what happened, he (Peskov) immediately began “shooting” – here we can without any assumptions, immediately conclude that this is definitely a sabotage of Ukrainian armed forces. We read – vice versa, according to the rules of working with the Kremlin, and we get: they definitely did it, there’s no doubt. Peskov is perfectly aware of it, and so he starts denying everything in public straight away.

The expected position for a strike was known in advance and preparations for it started in the first days of the war. The case was attended to by experts, who contacted power engineers and discussed what could be done. At the very least, release water from the Kyiv reservoir, as a strike on the Kyiv dam was very likely.

The information that explosives were placed in the engine room of the Kakhovka HPP was known last year. It was discussed that something was bound to happen to it. If an explosive is placed, what can happen to it? It will definitely explode!

This scenario was read and considered, but, unfortunately, nothing could be done.

We all, including Europe, are very lucky. Lucky because in the Soviet Union such facilities were built firmly and the whole body of the dam did not collapse. Otherwise, we would have had a wave 8-10 meters high, a man-made tsunami, demolishing everything in its path and reaching Odesa.

If it had started in Kyiv, it would have been terrible. Cascades are a very scary thing, because the water accumulates and rises, then demolishes another HPP, then another and another – a total Apocalypse.

Yes, we knew about weapons and explosives at the plant. But somehow everyone forgot that exactly the same event, but on a smaller scale, had taken place near Kryvyy Rih 9 months before. There’s a river there – the Inhulets. The Armed Forces of Ukraine built a pontoon crossing over it, and there was a dam nearby, which encloses the Korochun reservoir. The Russians struck it with missiles to wash away our crossing. Of course, they destroyed it – it’s a small dam. Yes, some areas in Kryvyy Rih and the suburbs of Kryvyy Rih were flooded. But then it was a small-scale natural disaster. The Russian occupiers were proud and did not hide that it was they who struck in order to wash away the crossing of the Ukrainian armed forces.

There’s no need to reason or analyze anything further. They repeated the same thing because they are psychotic and phobic about our offensive. They are not fully in control of themselves, ready for anything to somehow, if not avoid, at least delay the offensive. 

The task is absolutely clear, since Ukrainian sabotage reconnaissance groups are operating below on the islands and are moving somewhere. Clearly, they are preparing bridgeheads for the future crossing of the Dnipro and the subsequent march to the Crimea. 

And Crimea is sacred for Putin. He would give away everything for it – the Belgorod region, Bryansk, not to mention Donetsk and Luhansk, but Crimea – no. For Putin, Crimea is something painful, a kind of G-spot on the contrary. There’s reliable information that he negotiated with Yanukovych (the former, fugitive president of Ukraine) and promised to invest $100 billion if Russia would control Crimea, at least informally.

Most likely, they wanted to make a small explosion, release a little water in order to wash away the SRGs, which were there in the lower reaches of the islands. Plus, they wanted to flood the coast a little bit so that the heavy military equipment of the Ukrainian armed forces could not pass through. But they miscalculated the scale. They didn’t think that if even a small gully appears in such a huge reservoir like Kakhovka, the water will wash away everything in its way. It’ll be a completely unstoppable flow.

They wanted to repeat what they had done in Kryvyy Rih, but they were wrong in their calculations. And that’s what we ended up with – the biggest environmental disaster in Europe in the last 30 years. The aftermath will last for a very long time – decades. And this disaster does not affect the military component with regard to Ukraine – it affects the lives of local people.

The disaster will be in Crimea. Crimea will have no water for many years. And Crimea is a strategic point for Russia, allowing it to control the entire region and threaten NATO bases, have some military power and have a waterway to Syria.

This is a bunch of interests for Putin, including money interests and the opportunity to put pressure on Turkey. First of all, these are the Black Sea Fleet bases – in particular, in Sevastopol. Therefore, they can be driven out of Crimea (Sevastopol) only by force. Our goal is to destroy the enemies, because they will definitely not leave Crimea by themselves. This is about reality. 

Had all gone to plan, there would not have been such a powerful blast, and the entrance to the Crimean Canal would have remained filled with water. Then Crimea would be in no danger. And now, it is not even clear whether the water level will drop below the entrance to the Crimean Canal or it will become shallow if it is equipped with a specific hydraulic system. It will most likely become shallow. But according to the original plan, the Crimean Canal should not have suffered. A decent wave should have passed through the islands, and everything else should have remained in place. It is quite clear that the general, who is credited with the final decision, clearly did not consult with hydraulic engineers. Tricks with explosives on the dam are extremely difficult to predict and, as a rule, the worst case scenarios will occur.

Ukraine just physically could not seriously damage this dam, since the entire territory is under Russia’s control. In the Soviet Union, everything was so well built that the dam body is 16 – 18 meters high and can only be damaged from the inside. This structure is designed to withstand a tactical nuclear strike. According to the Soviet building codes, such a dam could be destroyed only from the inside. No HIMARS, with all due respect, can destroy such a dam; it can only scratch the road surface. However, a dam can definitely be destroyed from the inside. 

As for the consequences … The entire hydraulic system of the Dnipro is interconnected by cascades, we are forced to discharge water from the Zaporizhzhia hydroelectric power plant in a dosed manner, because if it is not discharged, then the difference between the water level above and below the dam, i.e. the Kakhovka reservoir, may breach the next dam in the cascade. It is not designed for large water level differences. How the water will subside and how the discharge above the Kakhovka Reservoir will affect this will determine how long the turbulent current will last and what consequences will be.

The primary consequences are already obvious – a lot of residential buildings and industries are flooded, roads are washed out, the environment is devastated. All this can be seen with the unaided eye. Surely there will be victims.

Many people cannot evacuate, because the roads have been blocked there. With such a colossal catastrophe, casualties are inevitable, on both sides of the Dnipro. But the long-term consequences are worse. Why is it being compared to a nuclear bomb strike? A nuclear bomb has a number of damaging factors that act over time. Despite the similarity in scale and nature of these disasters, the current incalculable tragic consequences for all life will accumulate.

The fact is that there are many metallurgical and mining enterprises around the Kakhovka reservoir built in the Soviet period. They actively worked and dumped a lot of hazardous wastes in it. No one addressed environmental issues back in the Soviet Union.

A significant part of this waste settled on the bottom of the Kakhovka reservoir. So arranged by nature that these toxic wastes settle on the bottom while products of vital activity of living organisms and sludge form the upper layer. And this natural process of disposal of toxic wastes dumped from metallurgical and other enterprises has been completely disrupted and turned inside out.

All this was washed away by a powerful stream and rushed further, to the lower reaches of the Dnipro, to the Black Sea. But the worst thing will be if the dam falls deep enough. Then, almost the entire Kakhovka reservoir will flow out in 7-10 days. Then a new riverbed of the Dnipro will be formed under the Kakhovka reservoir, and everything around this new riverbed will dry up and these deposits of toxic substances will start eroding.

The winds will lift and carry these toxic particles towards Ukraine, to the north, to the south, towards Russia, towards Crimea, Turkey, and Romania. All this poison in a fairly concentrated form, will rush in all directions, wherever the wind rose pleases.

No one can at the moment say how deep the destruction is, what area of these harmful deposits will be exposed, and, accordingly, what area will be covered by this poisonous erosion. But it is already clear that the agriculture of the Kherson region and Crimea came to an end. 

The very valuable nesting and spawning sites no longer exist. It’s scary to imagine this effect. Decades are now needed to resume something similar.

Only one thing comes to mind – Russia is not able to conquer Ukraine, therefore it is trying to destroy it.

Be it willingly or unwillingly, Russia has been destroying Ukraine. “If I can’t have you, no one can!” And they (the Russians) start bragging about how they are destroying the industrial and human potential of Ukraine.

They don’t care whether they will win or lose on the battlefield. They say they will finish it off in such a barbaric manner…There is such an opinion.

Aleksandr Kochetkov,

The article is prepared based on the following the interview: