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SBU: Russian Sabotage Group Behind Kakhovka Dam Explosion

The Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. Russian Investigative Committee / TASS

Ukraine’s SBU security service on Friday published an intercepted phone call in which an alleged Russian soldier claims that Tuesday’s explosion at the Kakhovka dam was organized by a Russian sabotage group.

“They [the Ukrainian military] didn't blow it up. That was our sabotage group. They wanted to scare [Ukrainians] with this dam,” said the man identified by the SBU as a Russian soldier. 

"But it didn't go according to plan, [they did] more than they planned to. The construction [of the dam] … quickly collapsed."

The audio clip’s authenticity could not be independently verified.

Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for the dam’s collapse, which has sparked a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe in areas downriver.

Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate, and about 150 people have been reported missing. At least 16 people have been killed in the flooding. 

Animals and fish have also been killed in mass numbers.

Ukrainian officials accused the Russian army of shelling and sabotage attempts against those involved in rescue and evacuation efforts.

Ukraine and Western countries have called the bombing of the dam and its consequences a war crime.

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