Who destroyed the Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River? (Update: Tucker Carlson)

As recently as this morning there is still an ongoing debate about who blew up the Nord Stream pipeline. According to a new report from the Washington Post, the US had a heads up that Ukraine would attack the pipeline months before it happened.


Now there’s another mystery to argue over. This morning, someone blew up the Kakhovka dam which included a hydro-electric power plant. The dam has released an immense amount of water that is expected to flood about a hundred towns.

The immediate concern is for the people living near the dam now facing the 4.8 billion gallons of water officials previously warned would be unleashed if the structure failed.

More than half a million people “will lose their houses, a lot of them will have no access to fresh water, some of them will lose power connections,” said Oleksandr Kharchenko, head of the Energy Industry Research Center consultancy. Several “large cities” rely on the reservoir for drinking water, he said. The Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula notably does, too.

Almost 100 towns and villages would be flooded, according to the World Data Center for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development, a Ukrainian nongovernmental organization, and the water would only start to recede after five days to a week.

Video shows the state of the dam.


It appears the hydro-electric plant has been completely destroyed and there are swans swimming the streets in the nearby town.

Attacking a dam is a violation of the Geneva Conventions so neither side is taking credit. It’s still early but the first assessment is that this was not an accident and probably could not have happened as a result of shelling. Someone blew it up from the inside.

A deliberate explosion inside the Kakhovka dam, on the front line of the war in Ukraine, most likely caused its collapse on Tuesday, according to engineering and munitions experts, who said that structural failure or an attack from outside the dam were possible but less plausible explanations…

Experts cautioned that the available evidence was very limited, but they said that an internal explosion was the likeliest reason for destruction of the dam, a massive structure of steel-reinforced concrete, completed in 1956. And local residents reported on social media that they heard a huge explosion around the time the dam was breached, at 2:50 a.m.

President Zelensky directly blamed Russian forces, noting that they have been in control of the dam for the past year.


Russia certainly had the opportunity to blow up the dam but would they have a motive for doing so? One possibility is that the launch of the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive prompted this. As I pointed out yesterday, there were some strong indications that the initial phase of the counteroffensive had begun. The Dnipro river was essentially the front line so blowing up this dam will now make it impossible for Ukraine to move tanks and equipment though this area, possibly for weeks. There’s also this:

On the other hand, some are arguing that it makes no sense for Russia to blow up the dam because the worst of the disaster will hit areas to the east that they currently control. That would include all of the front line defenses it has built up on the east side of the river that are now underwater. So Russia is of course blaming Ukraine, albeit without explaining how it was done.


“We are talking about deliberate sabotage by the Ukrainian side,” Dmitry S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told reporters.

One of the areas likely to be hardest hit in the long run is Russian-controlled Crimea which just lost its main water supply.

This brief clip from Insider sort of sums up the dueling claims. Note that the Russian spokesperson in this clip claims this was a missile attack. That’s at odds with the suggestions that only an internal attack could have destroyed the dam so completely.

Update: Here’s an NBC News report from earlier today claiming the US has some classified intelligence pointing to Russia as responsible.

Update: Episode 1 of Tucker’s new show focuses on what happened at the dam this morning. No surprise if you’ve been following him lately, he immediately blames this on Ukraine (which may be true) but has nothing negative at all to say about Russia or Putin. He mocks the idea that Putin is a war criminal despite the fact that there’s some substantial evidence that Russia has committed war crimes, some of which were caught on video and others of which are just strongly suspected.


Putin, as we all know, tried to murder his most outspoken opponent in Russia and then, when that failed, threw him in prison on trumped up charges. But Carlson can’t spare a moment of this rant for any criticism of him. On the contrary he mocks the idea that Putin might be a bad guy as if anyone who suggests the idea has been brainwashed instead of just paying attention to what Putin is actually doing.

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