“Putin has found a new weapon of mass destruction”

The dam

 “For weeks the Ukrainian army has been pressing attacks against Russian troops on the west bank of the River Dnieper, some of which have been repelled. Surovikin also faces huge difficulties keeping an over-stretched Kherson defence force stocked with ammunition, fuel and combat equipment, partly due to the damage inflicted earlier this month on the Kerch bridge from Russia to Crimea, a major supply artery.

If Surovikin decides he cannot hold Kherson city, he may order a withdrawal to the east of the river and, as well as evacuating civilians, there is evidence that Russia has already begun pulling back military equipment and troops rather than risk the significant losses sustained in the north east of the country. If Ukrainian forces do break through there, one option would be to blow up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, flooding vast areas along the Dnieper to slow the advance. Zelensky says Russian forces have already prepared the dam for demolition by attaching powerful explosive charges.

The Kakhovka dam holds more than 18 million cubic metres of water. If destroyed it would hurl an all-engulfing wall of water into 80 towns and villages along the Dnieper, including Kherson city with a pre-war population of 284,000, drowning thousands, creating a deluge of refugees, depriving the whole of southern Ukraine of its water supply, dangerously cutting off cooling water to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant and creating severe power outages for hundreds of thousands of people.”

Putin has found a new weapon of mass destruction (telegraph.co.uk)

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31 Responses to “Putin has found a new weapon of mass destruction”

  1. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    If the dam is blown, it will flood the eastern bank of the river. Why would the Russians want to do that? It’s not logical.

    It would also empty the canal to Crimea.

    – Eliot

    • d74 says:

      The Russians are shelling the NPP of Energodar, the 6 reactors and their cooling pools.
      They cut off the 3/4 gas pipes Nord Stream.
      Of course, the damage to the Kerch bridges is theirs.

      Ergo, if the damn dam blows, it will be them again.
      The Russian soul is indecipherable.

  2. TTG says:

    I doubt Kherson itself will get flooded. Most of the land north of the river is at least 100 feet above the Dnipro. Ukrainian artillery can move right up to the bluffs overlooking the river, flooded or not. It’s the south bank that will get clobbered. The Russians better withdraw well away from the river before they do something so boneheaded. It will also deprive Crimea of the water from the Crimean Canal. Given the damage to the Kerch bridge, they’ll have a hard time shipping water in. What rails and roads available are needed for military movement and supplies. Perhaps they have already resigned themselves to losing Crimea.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      As you imply, the only way blowing up a Russian dam on Russian territory makes sense from the Russian perspective would be as part of a scorched earth retreat from the whole of SE Ukraine, the Crimea included. It is surely just a scare story to get the civilian population to leave.

      I think it is quite evident that Putin just doesn’t have the balls to do such a thing anyway. The guy has been a pussy at every stage of his half-assed SMO. Ironically the chances of peace might be greatly improved if he did something nuts. It worked for Nixon.

      • Bill Roche says:

        BA; What “nuts” worked for Nixon? Opening relations w/Mao? Seventy years later it has proven nuts but lots of others have since had their hands on that idea. Opening Salt with Breznev? Wasn’t that a good idea. Some people get the ’60’s mixed up. Eisenhower/Nixon were out of office by the Bay of Pigs in ’62, the Prague Spring happened under Johnson in ’68, who had built up American strength in Nam to 500M men. Nixon ran on ending the draft and Vietnamizing (Pat Lang, is that even a word) the war and signed the bill ending the draft in ’70. He entered Cambodia in ’70 not to conquer it (despite what the anti-American press and Walter Cronkite reported) but to interdict the N.V.A. from going around the Ho Chi Minh trail. He d/n call for reduction of money for Nam. The congress did, under Ford. Although ousted from the Presidency in disgrace in ’72 recall that he had nothing to do w/t disaster in the Persian sands in ’76, that was Carter. Maybe you meant “realllly global” relations. Although Kennedy proposed the moon in ten years in his ’63 inaugarel (sp) we got there in ’69 under Nixon who had liberally funded NASA. Obama’s praise of 12th century Islamic mathematics in Cairo 16 years ago got America questioning NASA’s purpose, but it still keeps me dreaming. Who was the nut there? America d/n think Nixon nutty. Humphrey gave him a run for his money in ’68, but in ’72 he won all states but McGovern’s N. Dakota. Few American Presidents had a first four years as positive as Nixon’s.

        • Barbara Ann says:

          Hey Bill

          I’m talking about Duck Hook – Nixon and Kissinger’s ‘Madman Diplomacy’ formulated to persuade Hanoi that Nixon might be nuts. The strategy culminated in the October 1969 nuclear alert. I recall Ken Burns mentioned it in his VN War series. There is a book dedicated to it too. It worked, albeit briefly, in advancing the peace negotiations.



          Putin’s (in)actions are having the opposite effect. He threatens all kinds of fire and brimstone if his red lines are crossed and then does nothing or very little when they are. As a consequence he is perceived as weak & uncommitted to the conflict. This combined with losses on the battlefield embolden the Ukies, but more importantly the neocons who want to push the war all the way to force Russia’s collapse. IMO this is a very dangerous dynamic. Putin talks the Duginist talk, but it is quite clear he is desperate for a negotiated settlement and he reeks of that desperation. I fear this will embolden the hawks to push Russia too far.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Duck Hook, I vaguely remember it. October ’69 found me in Fkt SSG doing other things. Best.

          • cobo says:

            Barbara Ann

            The intent and character of the Russian, and its Soviet era intelligence, military and civil institutions are clearly on display. If you prefer to live under perpetual nuclear threat, then, yeah, let’s negotiate away the best opportunity we have to drive a stake through the Soviet. I doubt that we are without resources within Russia to seize control when the time is right and rebuild the relationship with the West. Don’t tell me we had that opportunity in the 90s, the Soviet was still firmly entrenched, and I don’t blame the West for trying to stick it to them.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Re seizing control, I presume you are referring to seizing control of what is important – i.e. the Russian military, not some sort of J6 style faux insurrection takeover of the Duma. If so I suspect you may be overestimating our capabilities. Civil war is the more likely desired outcome of the neocons in the short term, IMO. Maybe they’ll get lucky this time, they sure are lucky Putin is this stupid. As for rebuilding a relationship with the West, any Russian who lived through the 1990’s is well aware of the what that would mean.

          • cobo says:

            Barbara Ann

            All of your points are correct, and I agree with you. I do have a different notion for the way things will work out. However, too much of it is still in wild-imagination territory. The skeleton for it on the ground is not far enough along to make any plausible case for it. My ideas are based in studies of Steiner, Gurdjieff and what I see in my own art. I point the way that I do, due to these influences, particularly in my own art – although seeing parallels in others’ thinking is encouraging. What’s nice about going in all artist-like is I can be a little ….different. I’ve got over 40 years practice in this. I’m going to pull back and wait to see how things progress. If/When I see the potential structure unfolding. I’ll be saying more.

  3. Mark Logan says:

    The Russian mil-bloggers started saying the Ukrainians were about to blow the dam, including information that the city of Kherson would be flooded, and shortly after Zelensky said it was the Russians who were about to blow it.

    My WAG is the Russians made the comment to further encourage the civilians in Kherson to get out, and Zelensky has the same idea in mind.

  4. JamesT says:

    Here is how The Telegraph covered Douma:
    “The little girl stares into the distance while her limbs convulse. She is foaming from the mouth, desperately trying to get air into her tiny lungs. It’s a battle she probably won’t win. The girl doesn’t know why she is dying. She can’t form any words, but her constricted pupils speak of the agony and horror she is going through …”

    They sure love them some war propaganda.

  5. blue peacock says:

    Putin would be stupid to blow up the dam.

    IMO, I doubt it would provide him any military benefit. Instead he will enable western media to whip up a frenzy and embolden NATO countries to increase the lethality of their military support. The Ukrainian counter-offensive continues and they are now forcing the Russian forces to evacuate Kherson. Blowing up the dam would force an evacuation of Crimea as there wont be any fresh water showing up there.

    Clearly, Putin has misjudged every aspect of this starting with the invasion of Ukraine in the first place. He assumed it would be a cakewalk and set the stage for the military annexation of the Donbas. He didn’t expect the Ukranian military to be a formidable opponent and the west to have the ability to pour in arms and provide intelligence to support them. That’s a huge miscalculation considering the number of Russian soldiers who have been killed & wounded and the weapons attrition of his armed forces.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Does anyone have a “fairly” good body count of Russian soldiers, the dead, mort, fini. I see numbers all over the block.

  6. Worth Pointing Out says:

    The secret to good comedy is timing.

    I don’t think anyone will dispute that the Russians have no incentive to blow up the dam whilst they are still encamped inside Kherson city.

    The Ukrainians do.

    Just as I don’t think that anyone will dispute that the Ukrainians have no incentive to blow up the dam AFTER the Russian military is run out of Kherson with their tail between their legs.

    The Russians do.

    So…. timing is everything.

    If the dam is blown up now then it is the Ukrainians who did it to trap a Russian army and force its surrender.

    If the dam is blown after the Russians decamp from Kherson city then the Russians did it to prevent the Ukrainians from continuing the chase.

    Seems pretty simple to me.

  7. Eliot says:

    “ Just as I don’t think that anyone will dispute that the Ukrainians have no incentive to blow up the dam AFTER the Russian military is run out of Kherson with their tail between their legs.

    The Russians do.”


    The flood would inundate Russian defensive positions. The Ukrainians would not be impacted, they would be on higher ground on the other bank.

    The destruction of the dam would also compromise the water canal to Crimea, the water levels would drop below the level of the canal upstream, leaving it an empty channel.

    For both reasons, blowing the dam only makes life more difficult for the Russians.

    – Eliot

  8. Eliot says:



    Blown at the right time, the Ukrainians would trap the Russian forces in Kherson, preventing any withdrawal.

    – Eliot

  9. mcohen says:

    Blow the dam to flood the tunnels.that sounds like a little blow not a big blow.
    I hereby bet 5 dollars sluice gates or similar.
    I-2 m wave

  10. Barbara Ann says:

    On the topic of WMD in Ukraine, today the Russian MoD has reported a call Shoigu had with his French counterpart as follows:

    In Ukraine, which has a steady tendency to further, uncontrolled escalation, was discussed.

    General of the Army Sergei Shoigu conveyed to his French counterpart his concerns about possible provocations from Ukraine with the use of a “dirty bomb”

    Uncontrolled escalation and a dirty bomb – alarming whichever way you choose to interpret this news.

    https://translated.turbopages.org/proxy_u/ru-en.en.49b52860-63553d68-80ea4d68-74722d776562/https/t.me/s/mod_russia/21117 (English machine translation)

    • borko says:

      I wouldn’t trust Shoigu to tell me the time of day.
      However, what is interesting is the presence of the 101st in Romania, coupled with Petraeus’s statement that under certain conditions the US could lead a multinational force into Ukraine. According to Petraeus, this force would of course not be NATO (republic of Tonga would probably take part in the operation).

      • cobo says:

        A Moldova friend recently posted this:

        Sources, and they are our best, report that the scenario for mobilization in Moldova was prepared a year ago. At that time, American intelligence suggested a different development of events in Ukraine and allowed the immediate entry of Russian troops into Odessa.
        According to the plan agreed during Maya Sandu’s last visit to the UK, USA and Germany, the mobilization in Moldova is scheduled for November.
        The instructions received were discussed at an emergency secret presidential meeting held on Sunday September 25, immediately after Sandu’s return from the states.
        This became the main topic of the Security Council convened on September 24 by the president in an unconventional format.
        Moldovan citizens are involved in the mobilization, but the focus will be on Romanian professional military who served in Afghanistan.
        In the course of a joint operation with the participation of the Ukrainian army, it is planned to capture Transniestria in the ring. This is why Moldovan authorities have long begun preparing for alternative sources of electricity and gas supply. And the rapid weapons of Moldova are not even hidden anymore.
        In addition to the armed actions on the Left Bank of the Dniester with the participation of Ukrainian and Romanian military, Moldova is also expected to face mass riots with the tacit consent of the authorities. This development of events will allow the security forces to untie their hands, and Maya Grigorievna and her team to hold on to power.
        Moldavian November can go down in history, kittens.”


    • Leith says:

      Barbara Ann –

      There is no dirty bomb. Just as there were no US-operated biological warfare centers in Ukraine, no Ukrainian shelling of the Zaporhizhzhiya nuclear plant, no Ukrainian plan to destroy the Dnipro dam, and no UkroNazis. It’s all projection.

      Or perhaps a dirty bomb is being planned in Moskovia by the FSB?

  11. A. Pols says:

    The only benefit of blowing up that dam to the Russians would be Ukraine’s loss of it’s electric power output. The flood surge would be evanescent, a few days at most, and then what?
    Relying on a yellow rag like the Telegraph for incisive analysis and factual information is just a tick above similar use of The National Enquirer, IMO.
    As far as logistics go, don’t you think military supplies going over the Kerch Strait bridge are going to go by train far more than by road? The rail bridge is intact even though the road bridge has lost one of its 2 lanes, but the remaining one can carry truck traffic, especially if that lane is reserved exclusively for military use? Again,IMO.
    So the bombing of the bridge, while symbolic, scarcely seems to have been a game changer.

    • TTG says:

      A. Pols,

      The bridge bombings are symbolic? I suppose the Russian use of pontoons and ferries are also symbolic. Sure there’s a lot of rumors and misinformation, but you’re living in a land of Muscovite fantasy.

      • A. Pols says:

        I expected something like that, TTG. It’ll be interesting to see how all this ends up in a year. Maybe I’ll have to ruefully acknowledge that I’ve been full of shit all along, but I still think this thing isn’t going to end up “our way”.
        BTW, I referred to only the Kerch Strait Bridge, not any of the others. Pontoon bridges have done well for other armies; They got Patton’s peeps across the Rhine and they can be put in place quickly and move plenty of stuff. Do you really think the Russians are such plodding clods they can’t run a land war?

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