Russia reported making gains in the battle for the industrial city of Bakhmut, which has dragged on for months
Russia has been accused of damaging another dam in Ukraine. Image/AFP News AFP News

Russia has been accused of blowing up another dam in the western Donetsk region of Ukraine. The dam along the Mokri Yaly River was destroyed as part of Russia's strategy to counter Ukrainian forces.

According to a Ukrainian military spokesperson, the dam located in the village of Klyuchove was destroyed to "slow down Ukraine's counteroffensive." However, the reports have not been independently verified.

The dam is located in the Russian-occupied territory of Ukraine. The videos that have gone viral on social media show water gushing out of the Staromlynivske Reservoir behind the dam.

"First, the occupiers blew up the Karlivka reservoir, then the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, then they blew up other hydroelectric facilities in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast," Ukrainian military spokesperson Valeriy Shershen told the Ukrainska Pravda news agency.

"In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, they expected a breakthrough by the defence forces, so to slow down our advance, they resorted to this tactic when they blew up the hydroelectric facility on the Mokri Yaly River again. However, this has not affected the advance of the defence forces," he added.

The latest allegations come a week after Russia allegedly blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam, located in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region. The collapse of the dam led to extensive flooding in the region, forcing thousands of people to flee, according to a report in The Guardian.

The Nova Kakhovka dam breach:

The dam was built in the Soviet era along the Dnipro River, which flows into the Black Sea. According to local media reports, the dam was destroyed last Tuesday, forcing thousands of Ukrainian citizens to flee their homes. The footage from the incident shows a breach in the dam and its waters flooding Kherson.

Dozens of villages, agricultural land, and towns have been flooded. Thousands of people are still being evacuated. The consequences of the flooding and the dam breach will be felt for years to come.

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of destroying the dam. However, neither of them has shown any evidence to support their respective claims. Several theories have also cropped up about what may have caused the damage to the dam.

Ukraine has launched an investigation into the matter and is treating the incident as a war crime, according to a statement from Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Andrii Kosti.

"Ukraine has initiated proceedings over this crime, qualifying it as a violation of the laws and customs of war and ecocide. It has caused severe long-term damage to people and the environment," read the statement from Kostin.

"The consequences are catastrophic. More than 40,000 people have been affected. Homes and infrastructure have been destroyed, land has become unsuitable for agriculture, and water supply has been disrupted in a number of regions, both in the government-controlled areas and in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia," it added.

Some experts believe that more than a year of fighting and bombing could have affected the structure. "Structural failure resulting from the impact of earlier damage associated with the war remains a possibility," Mark Mulligan, professor of Physical Geography at University College London, told the BBC.

The flooding caused by the dam breach may become an ecological disaster, according to the experts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has also said that the flood waters from the Dnipro River valley are highly contaminated due to the presence of sewage, oil, chemicals, and possibly anthrax from animal burial sites.

Zelenskiy claims that the flood waters from the Dnipro River valley are highly contaminated due to the presence of sewage, oil, chemicals, and possibly anthrax from animal burial sites. He added that 20,000 animals and 10,000 birds are "under threat of imminent death."