A Dam Blows in Russian-Occupied Ukraine
The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam is a humanitarian and ecological disaster
Early in the morning on June 6, a major dam and hydroelectric power station were destroyed on the Dnipro River in Russian-occupied Ukraine. The Kakhovka Dam's reservoir holds about 18 million cubic meters of water, or about as much as the Great Salt Lake. The facility has been controlled by Russia since the start of the invasion in February 2022. The dam's destruction immediately threatens an estimated 16,000 people living downstream, as well as the environment and ecology of the region. In addition, the hydroelectric plant was a crucial part of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. Upstream, the dam's destruction also triggered fears about the ability for the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant to cool itself; however, the International Atomic Energy Agency said there was "no immediate risk" to the plant and "a number of alternative sources of water."
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