MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. Ukraine has committed sabotage at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), and this could have grave consequences for the region’s residents as well as the environment, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"The president receives reports through the Defense Ministry and other services on what is happening around the Kakhovka HPP. Here we can already say unequivocally that this is deliberate sabotage by the Ukrainian side," the Kremlin spokesman told reporters.
According to Peskov, "this sabotage has the potential to cause very serious consequences for tens of thousands of the region’s residents, environmental consequences and consequences of another nature that are yet to be established."
The Kremlin spokesman also called it unmistakable that one of the goals of this act of sabotage was to deprive Crimea of water. "The water level in the reservoir is dropping, hence, the water supply to the [North Crimean] canal is drastically reduced," he added.
"Apparently, this sabotage is also due to the fact that, having launched large-scale offensive operations two days ago, the Ukrainian armed forces have been unable to achieve their aims. Their operations are stalled," the spokesman said.
He pointed out that it was the prerogative of the Defense Ministry to comment on other details around this situation. "I cannot say anything further," Peskov concluded.
Vladimir Saldo, Acting Governor of the Kherson Region, earlier reported that at night, the Ukrainian military delivered a strike on the Kakhovka HPP, presumably from an Olkha MLRS. The shelling destroyed the hydraulic valves that triggered an uncontrolled discharge of water. In Novaya Kakhovka, the water level has already exceeded 10 meters. There are currently 14 settlements in the flooded area, and a total of about 80 villages may be inundated. Residents of nearby settlements are being evacuated, though authorities have said no large-scale evacuations are necessary. The collapse of the plant's dam has caused serious environmental damage. Agricultural fields along the Dnieper River have been washed away, and there is a risk that the North Crimean Canal will become shallow.