Kherson authorities estimate financial cost of dam destruction
Authorities in the Russian-controlled part of Kherson region have rolled out their initial estimate of the damage caused by the destruction on Tuesday of the Kakhovka dam. The incident, which Kiev and Moscow are blaming on each other, caused severe flooding along the course of the Dnieper river.
In a post published on his Telegram channel on Saturday, the chair of the regional government Andrey Alekseenko wrote that, according to preliminary calculations, the damage incurred runs into 11.5 billion rubles, or roughly $138 million.
“And this figure may be far from the final one,” the official pointed out.
He added that special surveyors are currently inspecting households in order to estimate the damage in each individual case, which will be compensated by local authorities.
Alekseenko also noted that Russian emergency services are actively working in the region to rescue any remaining survivors and to disinfect areas where the floodwaters have subsided.
On Thursday, Vladimir Leontyev, the mayor of Novaya Kakhovka – the town where the dam was located – reported that five people had lost their lives in the wake of the incident, and that 41 more had been injured.
Novaya Kakhovka is situated on the left shore of the river and is controlled by Russia, while Ukraine holds the opposite side of the Kherson region. Ukrainian officials also reported that there were fatalities after the flooding on the right shore.
On Wednesday, commenting on the destruction of the dam, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine and its Western backers of gambling on a path of dangerous escalation. The Russian leader characterized the incident as a “barbaric act.”
Ukraine, for its part, insists that its forces could not have blown up the structure as the power plant was being held by the Russian military. Officials in Kiev also stressed that none of the missiles at their disposal could possibly have caused so much damage, particularly given that the Soviet-era dam was designed to withstand a nuclear strike.