Flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant destroyed many fortifications of the first line of defence of the Russians on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast, the Institute for the Study of War states.
Source: the ISW
Details: The ISW reported that the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP) dam’s destruction is seriously changing the geography and topography of the Kherson frontline sector in southern Ukraine.
According to the ISW, near-infrared imagery taken on June 7 shows that the flooding is severely damaging Russian defensive positions that had been set up on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, particularly Russian first-line positions in Hola Prystan and Oleshky.
Quote from the ISW: “The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam is affecting Russian military positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. The flooding has destroyed many Russian first line field fortifications that the Russian military intended to use to defend against Ukrainian attacks.
Rapid flooding has likely forced Russian personnel and military equipment in Russian main concentration points in Oleshky and Hola Prystan to withdraw. Russian forces had previously used these positions to shell the city of Kherson and other settlements on the Western (right) bank of Kherson.”
More details: To get out of the artillery’s effective range from some settlements on the right bank of the Dnipro River that they had been attacking, Russian forces relocated their personnel and military hardware up to 15 kilometres away from the flood zone, according to Natalia Humeniuk, Head of the Joint press centre of the defence forces of Ukraine’s south. Along the coast, the flood also destroyed Russian minefields.
However, Volodymyr Saldo, collaborator and the so-called “head” of the occupied Kherson Oblast, asserted that the KHPP’s destruction was advantageous to Russian defences since it would make it more difficult for Ukrainian forces to cross the river. Saldo’s assessment of the situation ignores the destruction of Russia’s first prepared line of defences. The analysts said it’s also unknown how much Russian heavy equipment was lost on the first day of flooding.
The ISW does not provide any assessment of whether Ukrainian forces attempted to cross the Dnipro or for what purpose they might have done so. “The clear concern in the Russian military information space, however, shows that the fear of such a crossing and belief that it was either underway or imminent was present in the minds of Russians closely following the war shortly before the dam was destroyed,” the report states.