(Reuters) – Satellite images taken on Tuesday afternoon by Maxar Technologies showed extensive flooding in southern Ukraine with the region’s Nova Kahkovka dam and hydroelectric station largely destroyed.
The critical dam, which lies along the Dnipro River in the parts of Ukraine’s Kherson region now held by Russia, collapsed on Tuesday, flooding a swathe of the war zone along the frontline.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible.
Maxar said the images of more than 2,500 square km (965 square miles) between Nova Kakhovka and the Dniprovska Gulf southwest of Kherson city on the Black Sea, showed numerous towns and villages flooded.
“The Nova Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric plant has been largely destroyed and few structures remain,” Maxar said in a statement.
The images show houses and buildings submerged in water, with many having only their roofs showing, and water taking over parks, land and infrastructure.
Ukraine said Russia had committed a deliberate war crime in blowing up the Soviet-era dam, which powered a hydroelectric station.
The Kremlin blamed Ukraine, saying it was trying to distract from the launch of a major counteroffensive Moscow says is faltering.
The dam was damaged in November following Russia’s withdrawal from the Kherson city.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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