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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Josh Salisbury

Ukraine war: Explosive-laden car was on blown-up Kakhovka Dam, drone photo shows

An explosives-laden car was placed on top of a dam in Ukraine which collapsed earlier this month, drone photos have appeared to show.

Ukrainian officials said it showed that Russia had the means and motive to bring down the Kakhovka Dam, which led to deadly flooding and threatened drinking supplies for thousands.

The drone photos, obtained by the Associated Press from May 28, appear to show a white car with its roof cut open and with a barrel which appears to have a landmine attached to its lid.

It appears to have a cable running toward the Russian-held side of the Dnipro river.

Two Ukrainian officials told the news agency that Russian troops were stationed in a crucial area inside the dam when the explosion reportedly took place.

They said they believed the purpose of the car was to stop any Ukrainian advance on the dam.

Dead fish in the reservoir after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam (AP)

Ukrainian commanders say it also scuppered some of their plans to take Russian positions in a counteroffensive that is now in its early stages.

Russia has denied causing the dam to burst but has benefited from the timing of the massive flooding that followed the explosion.

At least 52 people died when the dam on the Russia-occupied bank of the river burst on June 6.

Last week the international human rights law firm Global Rights Compliance said it believed it was “highly likely Russian forces deliberately destroyed the dam”.

The Kremlin on Monday refused help from the United Nations in the flood-affected areas citing what it called security concerns.

The United Nations said it has offered help to Russia dealing with the disaster in the illegally occupied left bank of the Dnipro but its offer was turned down.

It comes as Ukraine it had driven Russian forces out of an eighth village in its two-week-old counteroffensive.

Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces had retaken Piatykhatky, a settlement on a heavily fortified part of the front line near the most direct route to the country's Azov Sea coast.

This was part of an advance by Kyiv of up 4.3 miles into Russian lines in two weeks, capturing 44 square miles of land.

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