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8 Jun, 2023 07:29

US seeking to ‘whitewash’ Ukraine over Kakhovka dam destruction – Moscow

American media have unleashed a disinformation campaign, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has claimed
US seeking to ‘whitewash’ Ukraine over Kakhovka dam destruction – Moscow

The US is attempting to absolve Ukraine from any responsibility for the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam despite repeated attacks by Kiev’s forces on the facility, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said on Wednesday.

Antonov claimed that “there is a targeted disinformation campaign going on in US media,” with widespread allegations that Moscow was behind the collapse of the dam. Russia has insisted that the incident was an act of “deliberate sabotage” by Ukraine.

“Administration officials have framed their rhetoric as if the Russian Federation were in any case responsible for all incidents that occur during the Ukrainian conflict,” the envoy said, adding that “such an approach does not stand up to scrutiny.” 

“This is another desperate attempt to ‘whitewash’ the Kiev regime, which deliberately shelled the station for many months.” 

Antonov alleged that the Kakhovka dam collapse amounts to “yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law by Ukraine,” resulting in an ecological disaster and massive flooding.

The envoy stated that Ukraine’s “patrons” in Washington “never criticize Kiev,” and that “all actions of the regime are approved of, while any strikes that Russians suffer from are encouraged.” Antonov claimed it was “a textbook example of an ill-conceived, flawed position that has already caused serious upheavals in the world.”

Located in Russia’s Kherson Region on the Dnieper River, the Kakhovka dam was breached on Tuesday, resulting in the flooding of huge swaths of land and mass evacuation efforts. Moscow and Kiev have since traded accusations over who is to blame for the incident.

Kiev has denied any responsibility. However, in an interview with the Washington Post last December, General Andrey Kovalchuk, the then-commander of Ukrainian troops in Kherson Region, revealed that Kiev had conducted a test strike with a US-supplied HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the dam.

He denied any plan to flood nearby villages and claimed that the attack, which left three holes in the facility, was meant to see whether the damage would be enough to threaten the supply lines of Russian troops, who at the time were in control of a bridgehead across the Dnieper.

Kovalchuk described the test as successful but claimed that Kiev had only considered it as a “last resort.” Russian forces withdrew from their positions on the right bank of the Dnieper last November, citing supply issues and the need to avoid casualties.