Three months after its capture by Russian military forces, the turbines of the hydraulic power plant, located in Nova Kakhovka, in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, are operating, with the installations remaining intact and water flowing into the Dnieper River.
AFP journalists visited the building on the 20th, during a press visit organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, under constant surveillance by masked soldiers armed with automatic rifles.
Several Russian officials indicated that Russia intends to annex the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia, thereby forming a land bridge linking Russian territory with Crimea.
The hydraulic power plant, still painted in Ukrainian colors, is a sensitive “strategic object”, located far from the battlefront in the Far North, but the Russians, occupying the area, are afraid of the “sabotage” actions of the troops. Ukrainians.
There have been attempts [de sabotadores] “To bring in the IEDs, but all of them were thwarted,” said Vladimir Leontiev, a pro-Russian agent appointed by Moscow to be responsible for the civil and military administration of the Kakhovka region.
Built in 1956 during the Soviet period, the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam allows water to be sent to the North Crimean Canal, which begins in southern Ukraine and extends across the entire peninsula.
But after Russia annexed the territory in 2014, Kyiv turned off the dam’s taps, in a move that caused serious problems with irrigation and water access in Crimea.
New pro-Russian officials say water shipments to Crimea via the canal resumed in early March, and 1.7 million cubic meters are now shipped to the peninsula daily.
“There is a lot of water flowing into Crimea. We are currently giving without asking for payments. It is our contribution to compensate for the losses suffered by the Ukrainians and the Russians for eight years, ”explained Leontiev.
In this Moscow-appointed official’s version, “all workers” at the plant have been on site and have been working without interruption since February 24, with Russian soldiers controlling the civilian employees.
The plant continues to produce electricity that joins the unified Ukrainian grid and supplies both regions still under Kyiv’s control and those occupied by Moscow.
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