Russian forces have blown up the Noova Kajovka dam, located in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian region of Jerson.
“The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of flooding are becoming clearer,” the Ukrainian command said on its Facebook page.
The dam spans Ukraine’s massive Dnieper River, holding back a huge reservoir of water. The dam is 30 meters high and hundreds of meters wide. It was built in 1956 as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.
The dam breach could cause a wall of water to inundate all surrounding towns, including the city of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces retook late last year.
The water from the reservoir supplies the Crimean peninsula to the south, annexed by Russia in 2014, and the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, to the north.