Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces had “internally detonated” explosives in the hydro plant in Nova Kakhovka shortly before 3 am on Tuesday, in a speech to Eastern European leaders and NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on June 6.
Addressing the Bucharest Nine Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Ukrainian president said it was “impossible” for the plant to have been blown up from the outside, saying that “Russian terrorists” had blown it up using mines.
“It was an absolutely deliberate, prepared explosion. They knew exactly what they were doing,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president said 80 towns and villages were underwater and that evacuations were already underway. The true scale of the impact of the failure of the dam was yet to be realized, Zelensky said.
The Kakovka reservoir was a source of drinking water for millions of people and used for farming and agricultural production, Zelensky said.
The Kremlin called the dam’s destruction a deliberate act of sabotage by Ukraine. Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful