RUSSIA could secretly blow up a dam and flood Kherson to frame Ukraine’s mass deaths and cover its withdrawal, a US-based think tank has warned.
The military is keen to evacuate the city because it has become too difficult to provide for its soldiers, according to the Institute for War Research (ISW).
“The Russian military may believe that a dam breach could cover its withdrawal from the right bank of the Dnipro River and prevent or delay Ukrainian advances,” it said.
The dam is part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, located about 55 kilometers upstream from Kherson, the only major city that has been taken by Russia since invading Ukraine on February 24. It supplies hundreds of thousands of people with electricity.
Environmentalists have said the dam’s destruction would send a “nuclear bomb” of water through villages and towns.
Ukrainian soldier Vladislav, who is fighting in the Kherson region, said captured soldiers mentioned destroying the dam. “You talked about it,” he said. “I wouldn’t even be surprised if they do it…everything they do is genocide.”
A Kherson resident, known only as Di, wrote on social media: “I’ve heard about it but I’m not sure if they will as it will flood the left bank where they are now.”
Ukrainian artillery damaged a bridge near the dam, part of a plan to cut Russia’s supply lines. But there is no evidence that Ukraine intends to destroy the dam, as Russian officials claim.
Instead, the ISW said comments from General Sergei Surovikin, Russia’s top commander in Ukraine, suggested a “false flag” attack was being planned. “Such an attack would also promote the false Russian intelligence operation, which portrays Ukraine as a terrorist state that is deliberately targeting civilians,” it said.
Earlier this week, General Surovikin said “difficult decisions” would have to be made around Kherson as Ukrainian forces advanced.
Russia used “false flag” attacks to justify its invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent escalation of its military campaign. Now Kremlin propagandists seem to be building another one.
Alexander Kots, a military blogger, told a popular Russian television news program this week that Kyiv plans to destroy Kherson with a weapon of mass destruction. “I believe this could mean a chemical weapons attack or flooding of the area,” he said.
Pro-Russian officials in Kherson have ordered the evacuation of civilians over the upcoming battle for the city, but Ukraine insists it is a pretext to forcibly remove people. Television footage showed hundreds of residents queuing to take the ferry across the river.
But Di said she wouldn’t go. “I have no choice, I have to work. I have to help my parents,” she said.
“Our army is already closer and I have my fingers crossed that we will be released as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that Russia fired a missile near an unarmed RAF plane over the Black Sea. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons that on September 29 an unarmed RAF RC-135W Rivet Joint was on routine patrol when it was attacked by two Russian armed SU 27 fighter jets.
He said during the 90-minute interaction, the SU 27 aircraft fired a missile near the electronic surveillance aircraft but out of sight.
Mr Wallace said he had written to his counterparts and the chief of defense staff in Moscow about a “potentially dangerous engagement”. On October 10, Moscow responded that it had conducted an investigation and attributed the engagement to a “technical malfunction.”
Mr Wallace said that while “we don’t view this as an intentional escalation, our analysis would agree it was a malfunction” that served as a “reminder of how dangerous things can be when you decide to turn your fighters.” to use it in this way the Russians did it”. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022)
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/experts-fear-russia-could-blow-up-dam-to-flood-city-of-kherson-42083789.html Experts fear Russia could blow up a dam to flood the city of Kherson