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  • Writer's pictureCrest Economics

Destruction of Ukraine dam to carry heavy consequences- June 2023

The collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine is one of the largest industrial disasters in Europe for decades. As water from the Kakhovka Sea floods downstream towards Kherson, agricultural land and dozens of villages were quickly inundated. Whilst the cause of the breach is unclear, Ukraine’s military and Nato have accused Russia, Russia has blamed Ukraine.

As the flood water continues to recede, a clearer picture of the effects of the disaster for people living in the surrounding cities, the knock-on effects for global food supplies and its implications for the Ukrainian military offensive begins taking shape. Environmental concerns of river contamination with industrial lubricant and degradation of local farmland into ‘deserts’, negatively impacting agricultural output for years to come, whilst leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to drinking water. Ukraine, as the fifth largest exporter of wheat, will struggle to find water needed for irrigation as the water held by the dam is draining away, creating a flow on to food supplies and inflationary food prices. The flooding of the dam would put a brief respite to the Russian advancement, noting that Russian troops have been forced to abandon many of their defensive positions built up over several months.

An estimated total cost of the rebuilding of Ukraine’s economy after Russia’s invasion would total up to $411bn. The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said it is “very concerned” about the social, economic and environmental impact from the destruction of the dam.

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