Dutch politicians blame Russia for destroying Kherson dam

The dam and hydroelectric station before it was destroyed. Photo: Depositphotos

Dutch politicians have joined the condemnation of Russia after a major dam over the Dnipro in Ukraine was breached in an explosion.

Around 16,000 people in the Kherson region faced evacuation as river levels south of the Nova Kakhova dam rose rapidly in the hours after the blast, early on Tuesday morning.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine have claimed responsibility, but Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy blamed “Russian terrorists” for blowing up the dam and destroying the hydroelectric power plant.

Rubin Brekelmans, foreign affairs spokesman for the VVD party, accused Russia of committing “war crimes” and causing a “humanitarian disaster”.

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, of coalition partner D66, said the destruction of the dam was “another terrorist act by Putin’s terrorist regime”.

The consequences were “floods in Kherson, a rapid decline in living standards in Crimea and the stability of a nuclear reactor is under strain,” he wrote.

Tom van der Lee, of opposition party GroenLinks, said “the people of Ukraine are spared nothing” and those responsible for “Russian war crimes” should be “prosecuted and punished”.

Russia initially denied that the dam had been breached, then claimed Ukrainian shelling had been responsible, but later blamed structural weaknesses.

A Russian Telegram channel, Rybar, later claimed that Ukrainian forces had blown up the dam and hydroelectric station, which supplies water to the Zaporizhzhiya nuclear plant and the occupied Crimean peninsula.

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