With the increasingly pivotal role being played in the war by the dams of Ukraine, this infographic reveals where the country's over 1,000 reservoirs are located, and the volume of water which they held before the conflict began.
Ukraine's dams have been the target of attacks on multiple occasions since the Russian invasion in February 2022. The destruction of the Kakhovka dam on 6 June though was on a level not previously seen in this war. The resulting deluge triggered a humanitarian disaster: claiming lives, displacing people, cutting off drinking water, and swamping agricultural land. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of carrying out the potential war crime.
New reports are now also emerging of another dam destruction, this time a smaller one on the Mokri Yaly river in the Donetsk region. Ukraine has accused Russia of doing so in order to slow Ukrainian advances in the region. With the increasingly pivotal role being played in the war by the dams of Ukraine, this infographic reveals where the country's over 1,000 reservoirs are located, and the volume of water which they held before the conflict began.
The numbers below the yellow triangles show the number of dams in the given administrative region of Ukraine, and the data for Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions are from 2014. The available water volume is determined by the color in which the corresponding administrative area is colored - from darkest to lightest blue, from top to bottom in the legend. The water volumes are respectively, from top to bottom: More than 2 billion cubic meters of water;
Between 1 and 2 billion cubic meters of water;
Between 501 and 999 million cubic meters of water;
Between 100 and 500 million cubic meters of water;
Less than 100 million cubic meters of water.
A short but obligatory editorial comment:
The dispute over who blew up the Kakhovka dam has value only in the realm of fine literature. Anyone who has studied any civil engineering knows that in the structures of the dam walls and in the piers of the large reinforced concrete bridges, there are special rooms (chambers) provided, where a precisely defined amount of explosive substance can be placed, with which to destroy a precisely defined part of the wall or a specific element of the bridge.
The dam wall was under Russian control at the time the induced flood began, so it is clear who had the opportunity to take advantage of the "weaknesses" that were pre-deliberately built into the wall's construction. It is obvious that the destruction was planned and carried out in a controlled manner. The Ukrainian side does not have ammunition, a single hit, with which it can cause such a breach in the dam wall. More precisely, Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons, and there is no evidence of an increase in the radiation background in the region.
The flood caused by the rupture of the Kakhovka dam wall was undoubtedly Russian. What exactly were the military motives behind this venture is another matter, but that question is best to be left to the Russian military command.