Kyiv says it intercepted call showing Russia blew up Kakhovka dam

  • World
  • Friday, 09 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: A satellite image shows the Nova Kakhovka Dam and hydroelectric plant after its collapse, in Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine June 7, 2023. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's domestic security service said on Friday it had intercepted a telephone call proving a Russian "sabotage group" blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric station and dam in southern Ukraine.

The destruction of the facility on Tuesday unleashed mass flooding, forcing thousands of residents to flee and wreaking environmental havoc.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) posted a one-and-a-half minute audio clip on its Telegram channel of the alleged conversation, which featured two men who appeared to be discussing the fallout from the disaster in Russian.

Reuters could not independently verifying the recording. Russia, which has accused Kyiv of destroying the dam, did not immediately comment on its content.

"They (the Ukrainians) didn't strike it. That was our sabotage group," said one of the men on the recording, described by the SBU as a Russian soldier. "They wanted to, like, scare (people) with that dam."

"It didn't go according to plan, and (they did) more than what they planned for."

The man also said "thousands" of animals had been killed at a "safari park" downstream as a result.

The other man on the line expressed surprise at the soldier's assertion that Russian forces, which were occupying the dam following Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, had destroyed the hydroelectric plant and dam.

The SBU offered no further details of the conversation or its participants. It said it had opened a criminal investigation into war crimes and "ecocide".

"The interception by the SBU confirms that the Kakhovskaya HPP (Hydroelectric Power Plant) was blown up by a sabotage group of the occupiers," the SBU said in a statement. "The invaders wanted to blackmail Ukraine by blowing up the dam and staged a man-made disaster in the south of our country."

Hundreds of Ukrainians were rescued from rooftops in the flooded areas on Thursday. The governor of the southern region of Kherson said some 600 square kilometres, or 230 square miles, of the region were under water.

"By blowing up the Kakhovskaya HPP dam, the Russian Federation definitively proved that it is a threat to the entire civilised world," SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk was quoted as saying in the statement.

"Our task is to bring to justice not only the leaders of Russian President Vladimir) Putin's regime, but also the ordinary perpetrators of crimes," he said.

(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Andrew Heavens)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Death toll from fuel depot blast in Karabakh rises to 170 - media
Seven dead, more than 25 injured after blast in Pakistan - local media
Tough issues to clear before EU membership talks with Ukraine -Hungary's Orban
Putin discusses Ukraine war with top Wagner commander Troshev
Over 84,700 people cross into Armenia from Karabakh - RIA
Eswatini holds parliamentary elections under monarch's control
Number of migrants crossing Panama's Darien Gap surpasses 400,000 to record high
Apple iPhone 15 Pro users complain that device can get too hot
Australia to retire Taipan helicopter fleet early after crash
US imposes fresh round of sanctions over instability in Sudan

Others Also Read