The Ukrainian and Russian governments are trading accusations regarding the Nova Kakhovka dam explosion, which caused an ecological disaster.
The dam exploded on Tuesday, causing major flooding along the Dnipro River near the major Ukrainian city of Kherson.
The hydroelectric dam provided power to Russian-controlled Crimea and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
The Ukrainian government claimed 150 tons of oil spilled into the Dnipro River. The oil will flow into the Black Sea.
Russia claimed Ukraine is continuing a wave of terrorist attacks designed to target Russian citizens inside Russia and in disputed Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “war crimes, openly using terrorist methods and staging acts of sabotage on Russian territory” in a phone call with recently re-elected Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, per reporting from Aljazeera.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the Russian military of perpetrating the attack and accused Russia of committing a war crime.
“The whole world knows about this Russian war crime, the crime of ecocide — the deliberate destruction of the dam and other structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant by the Russian occupiers. In fact, Russian terrorists have detonated an environmental bomb of mass destruction,” Zelenskyy tweeted.
Independent observers, including the United Nations, have not been able to confirm evidence proving the involvement of either nation.
While the dam’s destruction ruined Russian defenses south of Kherson and threatened Russian-controlled Crimea’s energy supply, the flooding also impedes Ukraine’s potentially ongoing counteroffensive.
While most Western media has tacitly accused the Russian military of blowing up the dam, war skeptic Tucker Carlson claimed that the Ukrainian military was likely responsible for the attack, as reported by The Dallas Express.
“So really, once the facts start coming in, it becomes much less of a mystery what might have happened to the dam, and a fair person would conclude that the Ukrainians probably blew it up, just as you would assume they blew up Nord Stream, the Russian natural gas pipeline last fall,” Carlson concluded.