WASHINGTON, June 6. /TASS/. The US administration has no information which would allow it to say with certainty who is responsible for the sabotage act on the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant (HPP), a senior White House official told reporters on Tuesday.
"We've seen the reports that Russia was responsible for the explosion at the dam," Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House John Kirby said. "We're doing the best we can to assess those reports, and we are working with the Ukrainians to gather more information, but we cannot say conclusively what happened."
When asked whether the US administration saw the incident as a deliberate act, Kirby reiterated that the White House was still in the process of gathering and analyzing information, and conclusions are yet to be drawn.
In his opinion, the burst of the Kakhovka dam will have a severe impact on the region and its inhabitants. Besides, it has already forced thousands to flee their homes, the White House official added.
Ukrainian forces shelled the Kakhovka HPP in the early morning hours on Tuesday, presumably using missiles fired from an Olkha multiple launch rocket system (MLRS). The gate valves of the plant’s dam collapsed as a result of the shelling, causing water to pour out uncontrollably.
As of now, the water level in Novaya Kakhovka has risen to above 12 meters. Fourteen settlements have been flooded and up to 80 are at risk of being inundated. People are being evacuated from neighboring settlements. However, according to local authorities, large-scale evacuations are not necessary. Farmlands along the Dnieper have been washed away. There is a risk of the drying out of the North Crimean Canal, which feeds water to Crimea.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the attack on the Kakhovka HPP as a deliberate act of sabotage by Ukraine. He added that the Kiev regime should bear all the responsibility for the consequences.