Russia Cites Evidence of US-Ukraine Plan to Bomb Dam

June 8th, 2023 - by Dave DeCamp /

In 2022, a military officer revealed a Ukraine “test strike”on the Kakhovka dam.

Russia Questions US Knowledge of Ukrainian
Plan to Attack Nova Kakhovka Dam
Dave DeCamp /

(June 7, 2023) — Russia on Wednesday questioned what the US might have known about Ukrainian plans to attack the Nova Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine using a US-provided HIMARS system.

The Russian-controlled dam was destroyed early Tuesday, and the Russians and Ukrainians are trading blame for the incident, which has caused massive flooding and forced thousands of people to evacuate. The destruction of the dam also threatens the water supply to Crimea.

In December 2022, The Washington Post reported that Ukraine considered attacking the dam during its counter-offensive in Kherson last year, citing a conversation with Maj. Gen. Andriy Kovalchuk, who led the offensive for Kyiv. The report said Ukraine even conducted a test strike on the dam using a US-provided HIMARS rocket system.

“Kovalchuk considered flooding the river.” The Post reported. “The Ukrainians, he said, even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the Nova Kakhovka dam, making three holes in the metal to see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages. The test was a success, Kovalchuk said.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday that US officials must be asked if they were aware of the Ukrainian plans. “Were you aware of how American weapons, the weapons that are being supplied to Ukraine, are used?” she said.

“That trial tests of a terrorist attack against civilian infrastructure in third countries are being made? These are the questions that we directly pose in the public space before the White House; you must answer them,” Zakharova added.

While Ukraine and some members of Congress immediately blamed Russia for the attack on the dam, the White House wouldn’t back up the claim on Tuesday. “We’ve seen the reports that Russia was responsible for the explosion … But we cannot say conclusively what happened at this point,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

The Kremlin said Tuesday that the canal that provides 85% of Crimea’s water was rapidly becoming shallower as a result of the dam’s destruction. Ukraine cut off Crimea’s access to the canal in 2014, and it was only restored after Russia took control of the area after the February 2022 invasion. Securing the water supply to Crimea was one of Russia’s motives for invading.

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