October 1, 2023

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 468 of the invasion

4 min read
  • The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River, and called for people living downstream to evacuate in the face of catastrophic flooding. Ukrahydroenergo said the hydoelectric power plant at the dam had been blown up from the inside and was irreparable.
  • The governor of the Kherson region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said that about 16,000 people were in the “critical zone” on the Ukrainian-controlled right bank of the river. He said people were being evacuated for districts upstream of Kherson city and would be taken by bus to the city and then by train to Mykolaiv, and to other Ukrainian cities including Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Kropyvnytskyi and Kyiv.
  • Occupying Russian authorities in the town of Nova Kakhovka initially denied anything had happened to the dam, then blamed the collapse on Ukrainian shelling. Vladimir Leontyev told the Tass news agency it was a serious terrorist act and a catastrophe, which “was created by the Ukrainian authorities and those who govern them”. Leontyev said part of the town had been disconnected from power supplies for safety reasons, and about 300 houses had been evacuated.
  • The areas most under threat of flooding are the islands along the course of the Dnipro downstream of Nova Kakhovka and much of the Russian-held left bank in southern Kherson. Earlier modelling of such a disaster suggested Kherson city would not take the brunt of the flood, but the harbour, the docklands and an island in the south of the city are likely to be inundated. It is unclear how many people would lose their homes. Andrey Alekseyenko, one of the Russian-installed officials in occupied Kherson, has posted to Telegram to say that up to 22,000 people are in the flood plains in Russian-controlled territory.
  • Denys Sukhanov, a humanitarian volunteer who works in the Ukrainian-controlled Kherson territory, told the broadcaster Suspilne that “Kherson urgently needs people who will perform the duties of volunteers to coordinate actions at evacuation points, receiving people, boarding buses, resettlement and feeding.”
Water runs through a gap in the Nova Kakhovka dam on Tuesday.
  • There seems to be no immediate safety threat to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), from the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam, 200km downstream, according to Ukrainian and UN experts. Water from the reservoir affected by the destruction of the dam is used to supply the plant’s cooling systems.
  • Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, Dmytro Kuleba, called the destruction of the dam “probably Europe’s largest technological disaster in decades” and a “heinous war crime”.
  • The British foreign secretary, James Cleverly, who is in Ukraine, blamed the destruction on Russia’s invasion. “I’ve heard reports of the explosion on the dam and the risk of flooding. It’s too early to make any kind of meaningful assessment of the details. But it’s worth remembering that the only reason this is an issue at all is because of Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
  • The dam traverses Ukraine’s enormous Dnieper River, holding back a huge reservoir of water. The dam is 30 metres tall and hundreds of metres wide. It was built in 1956 as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. Water from the reservoir supplies the Crimean peninsula to the south, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has suggested that what he called the “destruction” of the Nova Kakhovka dam was the fault of “Russian terrorists”. Zelenskiy said in a post on Twitter, “The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land. Not a single metre should be left to them, because they use every metre for terror.”
  • Shebekino district in Russia’s Belgorod region is being shelled, local authorities told residents on Tuesday.
  • Ukrainian troops went on the attack at multiple points along the frontline in the Donetsk region on Monday, driving back Russian forces in at least two areas in what appeared to be the preliminary stages of Ukraine’s long-anticipated counteroffensive.
  • Ukraine has enough weapons to begin its counteroffensive, and the operation will give the country the victory it needs to join Nato, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba told Reuters on Monday. Membership of the military alliance would “probably” only be possible for Ukraine after the end of active hostilities, Kuleba said in an interview in Kyiv.
  • Zelenskiy welcomed on Monday what he called “the news we have been waiting for” from troops in Bakhmut, but gave no further details. “I am grateful to each soldier, to all our defenders, men and women, who have given us today the news we have been waiting for. Fine job, soldiers in the Bakhmut sector!” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
  • The US imposed sanctions on members of a Russian intelligence-linked group for their role in Moscow’s efforts to destabilise democracy and influence elections in Moldova, the Treasury department said. The sanctions target seven individuals, several of whom maintain ties to Russian intelligence services, the department said. They include the group’s leader, Konstantin Prokopyevich Sapozhnikov, who organised the plot to destabilise the government of Moldova, which borders Ukraine, earlier this year.
  • Poland’s agriculture minister has received a draft regulation from the European Commission extending a ban on Ukrainian grain imports until 15 September, he said on Monday.
  • Belgium will ask Ukraine for clarification on reports that rifles made in Belgium had been used by pro-Ukrainian forces to fight Russian troops inside Russia’s western border, the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, said on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *