Russia holds West responsible for dam disaster – UN envoy
Ukraine destroyed the Kakhovka dam in an “unthinkable crime” intended to harm Crimea for choosing Russia in 2014, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council on Tuesday.
The Russian diplomat brought up US media reports documenting Ukrainian attacks on the Kakhovka dam in December 2022, using US-supplied HIMARS rockets.
“Feeling its total impunity and being encouraged by Western sponsors, the Kiev regime decided to carry out this terrorist plot this time,” Nebenzia claimed. He noted that the Ukrainians had significantly increased the discharge of water from the Dnepropetrovsk hydroelectric power station, leading to even greater flooding downstream, “which indicates that this sabotage was planned in advance.”
The “terrorist act” was intended to free up Ukrainian forces for the “counteroffensive” currently getting bogged down in Zaporozhye, while inflicting massive humanitarian damage on the population of Kherson Region, Nebenzia insisted.
Not only did the flood render a dozen towns along the Dnieper River uninhabitable, it has also reduced water levels in the North Crimea canal, which supplies water to the Russian peninsula. Ukraine had shut off the canal after Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in a 2014 referendum. It was only reopened last year, when Russian troops took control of the area.
According to Nebenzia, Kiev “once again decided to take revenge on the Crimeans for their choice in favor of Russia and leave the population of Crimea without water.”
Nebenzia called the claims by Ukrainian, US and EU officials that Russia was responsible for the dam’s destruction a “well-coordinated disinformation campaign,” in the same vein as previous allegations that Moscow was behind the shelling of its own people at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, or the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
According to the Russian envoy, Kiev has fully embraced terrorist tactics, from the bombing of the Crimean Bridge to the targeted assassinations of journalists Darya Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky, and the attempt on Zakhar Prilepin – which none of the Western governments said a word to condemn.
“The Kiev regime has good teachers, responsible for destroying the Nord Stream [pipeline] and the deliberate targeting of the Tabqa dam in Syria. The West is used to doing the dirty work with other people’s hands,” the Russian diplomat told the Security Council.
“We also do not rule out an attempt at provocation against the Zaporozhye NPP,” Nebenzia said, given that the UN has persistently refused to condemn Ukrainian attacks on the facility, “although it is obvious to everyone which side they are coming from.”