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Russian sabotage group blew up Kakhovka dam; it didn’t go as planned, SBU intercept alleges

Kakhovka dam Russian sabotage group
Screenshot from SBU video
Russian sabotage group blew up Kakhovka dam; it didn’t go as planned, SBU intercept alleges

Ukraine’s Security Service has shared an intercept alleging that the Kakhovka dam, which collapsed on the night of 6 June, was an operation by a Russian sabotage group to “scare” that went wrong. It features two Russian militarymen discussing the incident, where one repeats the Russian propaganda line that the Kakhovka dam was destroyed because it was hit by Ukrainians, and the second one says it was a Russian sabotage group behind the explosion.

M1: News… there was a video on Telegram yesterday. A soldier stands, his face covered, in uniform and all that, and says there’s no flooding and people live normally. And behind him there’s a window and you can see that the water is knee-deep.

M2: Yeah, funny. Is this about the [Kakhovka] HPP [Hydropower plant] that was destroyed? 

M1: Yes, yes, yes. The main problem is that it turns out this HPP cools some nuclear reactor of theirs.

M2: Well fine, they did it to themselves; it’ll blow up and that’s that! 

M1: But it were ours [Russians] who did this. Not them [Ukrainians], it were ours…

M2: No way, ours? They said it was the khohols [derogatory for Ukrainians] who hit it.

M1: It was not hit. It was our sabotage group. They wanted to, sort of, scare with this dam. But it didn’t go as planned; it was more than they planned.

M2: Ah. So it will be like… like in Chernobyl, right? 

M1: Well.. it was built in the 1950s. It collapsed fast, gave in. And there, downstream, there was a safari park, thousands of animals died.

M2: Understood.

“The invaders wanted to blackmail Ukraine by blowing up the dam and have caused a technological disaster in Ukraine’s south,” the SBU stated, adding that it has launched a criminal investigation into this Russian war crime.

“Having blown up the dam of the Kakhovka HPP, Russia has totally proved to be a threat to the entire civilized world. Only a true terrorist state can cause a technological and environmental disaster of such magnitude. And it will definitely be held accountable for this – both on the battlefield and in international courts. Our task is to bring to justice not only the top brass of Putin’s regime, but also the actual perpetrators of the crimes,” SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk said.

It is unclear what the essence of the “scaring” and “blackmail” could be, but the idea that the catastrophic flooding from the destroyed dam in Nova Kakhovka was a Russian operation gone wrong coincides with the messaging from Russian sources following the attack, which first denied that anything took place, and then attempted to pin the attack on Ukraine, but did so in an uncoordinated manner.

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