Internal Blast Probably Breached Ukraine Dam, Experts Say (Cautiously)

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.

Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for the failure, noting that Moscow’s military forces — which have repeatedly struck Ukrainian infrastructure since invading last year — controlled the dam spanning the Dnipro River, putting them in a position to detonate explosives from within.

Russian officials, in turn, blamed Ukraine, but did not elaborate on how it might have been done.

For months, each side in the war has repeatedly accused the other of plotting to sabotage the hydroelectric dam, without offering evidence — allegations that rarely rose above the wartime fog of claims and counterclaims, both real and fabricated. Just last week, both said an attack on the dam was imminent; Ukrainian officials said the Russians wanted to create an emergency at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which uses river water for cooling, to stall an expected Ukrainian offensive.

Read more: New York Times