Fact Check: NO Evidence Ukrainian Forces Blew Up Kakhovka Dam Using Marine Drones

Overovanie Faktov

  • podľa: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: NO Evidence Ukrainian Forces Blew Up Kakhovka Dam Using Marine Drones No Robot Boats

Did the Ukrainian army use marine drones to destroy the Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River? No, that's not true: Reporting by The New York Times and The Associated Press suggests that the Russian army had better reasons, access and opportunity to destroy the dam. There are also no evidence or reports that Ukraine's army ever used marine drones to engage in river attacks, only in the Black Sea.

The claim appeared in a video that is no longer available, published on TikTok on June 7, 2023 -- the day after the dam was destroyed -- without a title. It opened (translation from Slovak to English by Lead Stories staff):

Turkish sources state that the explosion at the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant was performed by unmanned explosive boats, and the explosion then triggered the detonation of explosives inside the dam.

At the time of writing, the video was not available on TikTok but here is the screenshot of the post:

For Tomas.JPG

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jul 12 16:00:00 2023 UTC)

Russians blamed the destructive operation on Ukrainians, alleging they hit it with a missile or damaged the dam with explosives. However, these accusations fail to explain why the blast from the dam was so strong that it was registered by seismic monitors in the region, The Associated Press reported.

Russian forces, which controlled the dam at the time of its collapse had, according to reporting from The New York Times, used a small passageway reachable from the dam's machine room, which ran through a large concrete base of the dam, to detonate strong explosives.

The Institute for the Study of War wrote on June 6, 2023, that although the think tank cannot be sure, "The balance of evidence, reasoning, and rhetoric suggests that the Russians deliberately damaged the dam."

In addition to the environmental catastrophe, the flooding, and the endangering of the crops, the collapse of the dam also complicated the plans of the Ukrainian army to take Russian positions in a counteroffensive.

A search for the phrase "Marine drones attack Kakhovka dam" performed by Lead Stories on July 12, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not reveal any factual reports that Ukraine used marine drones to attack the Kakhovka dam.

Ukraine has used marine drones for attacks against the Russians, for example in the Novorossiysk's harbor, but there is no evidence or reports that Ukraine's army ever used marine drones to engage in river attacks, only in the Black Sea.

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