The destruction of a major dam in the Dnieper River in Ukraine has sparked global horror. This causes enormous damage to the environment. The disaster does not make it any easier to reach an agreement between the belligerents.
The war in Ukraine is based on deception, so it is not immediately clear who is responsible for blowing up the large, 30-meter-high Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River in the east of the country. It is clear that the consequences are far-reaching. A huge area is meters under water. Thousands of people have to find a safe haven. Even in Kherson, the city that the Ukrainians recaptured from the Russians, but which is still in the line of fire. There are also serious concerns about the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, which may soon be without cooling water due to the dam burst. As a result, another catastrophe threatens at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
The Kremlin doesn’t mind at all. Putin and his generals seem to be consciously aiming not only to inflict a military blow on their neighbour. No, the country must also be destroyed. So civilians, but also infrastructure and power plants have been systematically bombed for more than a year. Causing tremendous damage. A large part of the bill will eventually fall on Europe’s plate. No doubt to the delight of the Russians, who have seen their trade with this part of the world evaporate over the past year and a half.
Moscow, by the way, not only wants to destroy Ukraine, but above all to paralyze and shut it down. The resulting instability makes Ukraine vulnerable and, at least Russia hopes, will stand in the way of joining the EU and NATO for a long time. In passing, this also sends a strong signal to other former Soviet republics: know what awaits you if you turn against us.
The destruction of the dam is serious for another reason. The attack has led to a further escalation of violence on Europe’s eastern flank. That makes it slightly more difficult for both sides to look for a way out of the bloody war. Because it is clear to everyone that in the end only talking can bring an end to this terrible conflict.