JAKARTA - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian troops on Tuesday of detonating the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant after mining the facility, saying Moscow should be held accountable for a "terrorist attack".
A Ukrainian military spokesman said Russia's goal was to prevent Ukrainian troops from crossing the Dnipro River to attack Russian occupation forces.
Meanwhile, Russian-placed officials gave conflicting reports. Some blamed Ukraine's shooting, others said dams in Dnipro had broken up by themselves.
"Tonight at 02:50, Russian terrorists carried out an internal detonation of the Kkhovskaya (water power plant) HPP structure," President Zelensky said after an emergency meeting of senior officials.
He said "a series of international and security measures have been agreed (at the meeting) to hold Russia accountable for this terrorist attack."
In a subsequent video address at a summit of European countries in the Bucharest Nine group, President Zelensky said Russia had controlled dams and hydroelectric power plants for more than a year.
"It is physically impossible to escape from outside - with shootings. It was mined. It was mined by the Russian colonialists and detonated by them," he said.
In addition, President Zelensky, whose country wants to join NATO, urged members of a military alliance meeting in Vilnius next month to show "there will be no weakness in Europe" and pointed out to Russia that "terror is not a tool to influence NATO's decision".
Separately, the Foreign Ministry called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council and new sanctions against Russia, particularly in its missile industry and its nuclear sector.
Meanwhile, Serhiy Naev, commander of the joint forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said the destruction of the dam "shouldn't have prevented us from moving forward in a direction where there might have been a water spill."
Russian terrorists. The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only… pic.twitter.com/ErBog1gRhH— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 6, 2023
Russian terrorists. The construction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and only confirmed for the whole world that they must be explored from every corner of Ukraine land. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It s only... pic.twitter.com/ErBog1gRhH