Moscow propaganist's speech, Kakhovka HPP blast - links in same chain
    Russia trying to freeze Ukraine war

    ANALYTICS  06 June 2023 - 17:03

    Today, one of the largest man-made disasters of the XXI century occurred: on the morning of June 6, the Ukraine Armed Forces Operational Command South reported that the Russians had undermined the Kakhovka HPP. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened a meeting of the NSDC [National Security and Defence Council] over the consequences of damage caused by the Russian military to the station, which supplies electricity and water to a number of districts in southern Ukraine. "The aggressor country Russia has once again confirmed that it needs to be kicked out of the Ukrainian land," the Ukrainian president said on Telegram.

    "The Russian terrorists, by destroying the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, only confirm to the whole world that they must be driven out of every corner of the Ukrainian land. Not a single meter can be left to them because they use every metre for terror. Only Ukraine's victory will bring back security. And this victory will be. The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles, or anything else," Zelenskyy wrote.

    Meanwhile, an evacuation order has been issued for the Kherson region. According to the Kherson regional military administration, the water in Dnipro will reach a critical level as a result of the Kakhovka HPP explosion, and the water level in the Kakhosky reservoir will drop by nearly 15 cm per hour. The Kakhovka HPP has already been completely destroyed and cannot be rebuilt. The press service of Ukrhydroenergo issued this statement.

    "The Korabel micro-district in Kherson has been de-energized, and the gas supply will be turned off in a few hours for security reasons," Roman Mrochko, head of the Kherson City Military Administration, wrote in Telegram. And the supply of drinking water to Ukraine's Kherson and Mykolaiv regions is under threat.

    Ukraine's Interior Ministry also reports in Telegram that the Kherson region's National Police and State Emergency Service units have been warned to alert and evacuate civilians from potential flooding zones on the right bank of Dnipro, namely Nikolaevka, Olgovka, Levo, Tyaginka, Poniatovka, Ivanovka, Tokarevka, Pridneprovskoye, Sadovoye, and partially the city of Kherson.

    "The Ostrov micro district will be partially flooded indeed; we are preparing for this; the State Emergency Service is fully operational. Because water carries dirt that can harm people, the sanitary and epidemiological regime's services have increased. Today, all hospitals are ready. There is no panic. The possibility of mining this power plant, dam, has been known since October 20, so the Kherson authorities were prepared for the event that occurred this morning," said Alexander Samoylenko, head of the Kherson regional council, on the telethon broadcast by the Rada TV channel.

    However, it should be noted that last year, on October 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated in a video message to the European Council that the Russian military had mined the Kakhovka HPP dam. As the Ukraine Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate explained at the time, the Russian military began mining the structure in April of last year, and in the fall they mined the hydroelectric power station's floodgates and supports.

    And now, according to Natalia Humeniuk, the head of the Joint Coordinating Press Centre of the Defence Forces of the South of Ukraine, the country's most important hydroelectric power plant has been undermined. On the air of the telethon "Edini Novini", she stated that "the Russians have blown up part of the structure (hydroelectric power station) and are using another map of technogenic blackmail to put pressure on the defence forces, to put pressure on Ukraine as a whole. They are attempting to provoke a specific situation because they lack the strength to wait any longer to see where the counteroffensive will come from".

    At the same time, according to her, realizing what they have done, the invaders themselves are evacuated. "Because first of all, the left bank of Dnipro suffers, since it is geographically lower and, accordingly, the first part of the water – the main flooding - will have to go there," Humeniuk said.

    But there is another explanation for the reasons for such a step on the part of the Russians. Russian troops did so as they are afraid of the Dnipro reinforcement by the Ukrainian Defence Forces.

    "The undermining of the Kakhovka HPP can be called an act of terrorism, another manifestation of genocide provoked by an environmental disaster, but the main thing is that this is a demonstration of the level of fear among the occupiers. They are so scared and afraid of Dnipro’s reinforcement by the Ukrainian Defence Forces that they went to blow up the dam," military-political commentator Alexander Kovalenko is convinced.

    At the same time, in his opinion, this terrorist act will not have any critical significance on the capabilities of the Ukraine Defence Forces.

    "First of all, the left-bank Kherson region will suffer from an increase in the water level, which means those lines of defence that the Russian occupation troops have been feverishly digging all these months. Nevertheless, irreparable damage to nature will be inflicted, coastal villages will be flooded, people will suffer, whom Russian terrorists again deprive of a roof over their heads. Only the complete liberation of the Ukrainian territories and the expulsion of the occupiers will stop this endless terror," he said.

    Oleksii Arestovych, a former adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, also spoke about the situation with the Kakhovka HPP. In his opinion, Russia’s actions show that they do not consider the option of retaining the left-bank Kherson region for themselves.

    "The deprivation of Crimea of a significant volume of water as a result of this explosion raises the question of whether they are seriously considering the retention of the peninsula. The last time before that, the dams on Dnipro were blown up by the Nazi troops leaving in 1943. A separate issue is the water supply of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, but the power engineers assure that they will manage for now - the station has its own separate cooling pool, and there is enough water there for now," he noted.

    Arestovych also pointed out that from a military point of view, the undermining of this hydroelectric power station means an attempt to prevent the Ukrainian Defence Forces from crossing Dnipro through the island system near Kherson.

    "The idea is strange, given that we would not have been able to transfer a large number of troops there anyway - it is technically difficult. But, apparently, a small number of troops already seems to Putin's command to be a serious problem - they want to close their flank and focus on defending the Melitopol–Dzhankoy line. And this is despite the fact that they have been intensively digging fortifications on the left bank of Dnipro since the autumn of last year. It won't work. I'm not talking about scorched earth tactics when they are preparing to leave, destroying large infrastructure facilities and creating ecocide, I'm not talking about it - it's too obvious," the ex-adviser to the presidential office stressed.

    However, it should be noted that the well-known Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan on June 4 on the air of "Evenings with Vladimir Solovyov" spoke about referendums in "disputed territories" to end the war. On June 3, the "peace plan" for Ukraine was presented by Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore. It involves the cessation of hostilities, the creation of a demilitarized zone and a peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the UN, which will monitor compliance with the ceasefire.

    Subianto also initiated an UN-supervised referendum "in disputed territories" to "determine the will of the inhabitants". In response to the Indonesian defence minister’s proposal, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stated that "there are no disputed territories between Ukraine and the Russian Federation to hold referendums there".

    "Having committed an act of aggression, the Russian Federation occupied Crimea, parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions. The fact recorded in official UN documents," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook, stressing that the Russian army is carrying out war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the occupied territories.

    "So, the proposed plan is ‘similar to the Russian one, not to the Indonesian one’,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov pointed out in turn. And such a position of the Ukrainian side is quite expected.

    And here's what Margarita Simonyan said about it.

    "...Indonesia has proposed a wonderful plan. I'm not just signing up for this plan, I've talked about it myself. I've been talking about this all year: how wonderful it would be to stop the bloodshed right now. Stay where everyone is, freeze and continue holding referendums, as Indonesia proposed. Referendums in all disputed territories. And where people want to go, with whom they want to stay, with whom this territory remains… Well, well?"  Simonyan asked on the air of the TV channel Russia 1.

    And this is said by the same lady who, in the same studio, convinced everyone that the Russian army could "take Kyiv in three days". As we can see, she and other Russian propagandists have abruptly changed the record. They already recognise the strength of the Ukrainian army, the presence of strong support for Ukraine from its allies, and at the same time the serious problems of the Russians with the retention of the occupied territories.

    Therefore, there are proposals to freeze the war here and now. And the blast of the Kakhovka HPP is needed by Russia for the same [reason]. Time will tell whether the Russian Federation will be able to achieve the implementation of its plans.

    Akbar Hasanov


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