Old video falsely linked to June 2023 breach at Ukraine's Nova Kakhovka dam

By: Rahul Adhikari
June 8 2023

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Old video falsely linked to June 2023 breach at Ukraine's Nova Kakhovka dam


The Verdict False

The video shows a separate incident, where an explosion, allegedly by Russian forces, blew up a bridge over the dam in November 2022.

Claim ID 39a8e3e5

On June 6, the Nova Kakhovka dam in the Russia-controlled region of south Ukraine collapsed. Following this incident, a video emerged on social media purporting to show the footage of the dam exploding. Numerous users shared the video on Facebook and Twitter, showing black-and-white footage of a bridge over a water body exploding. 

One such post on Twitter, from a Ukrainian official, gained over one million views and received 2,775 likes. The post's caption read, "Last night, Russian occupation forces blew up the Kahovka hydroelectric power station. This object is one of the largest energy facilities and contains about 18 million cubic meters of water [sic]" Several social media users shared the clip on Facebook, stating that it showed the recent incident at the dam.

The strategically important reservoir lies on the Dnipro River, about 20 miles east of the city of Kherson, currently under Russia's occupation. Footage was soon released of water spilling out of the breached reservoir, with thousands being evacuated as catastrophic floods hit low-lying areas along the Dnipro River. While Ukraine and NATO have accused Russia of blowing up the dam, the latter has accused Ukraine of the act, BBC reported.

However, the claim is false. The viral video actually shows a separate explosion at Nova Kakhovka dam in November 2022.

In Fact
According to a BBC report dated November 12, 2022, which carried the same video, the footage captured the moment of a massive explosion that occurred at Ukraine's Nova Kakhovka dam. According to the report, satellite imagery showed that the bridge and railway running across the dam had been severed in the explosion, which Ukraine and Russia had accused each other of causing. The report further stated that the BBC has verified the authenticity of the footage. The viral video clearly shows an explosion at the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine that happened last year.

The Guardian also shared the viral video on their YouTube channel on November 12, 2022, with the title "Footage shows massive explosion at dam in Kherson."

GeoConfirmed, a Twitter account dedicated to the geolocation of images and videos, stated that the viral video captures the moment of the blast at Kakhovka Bridge on November 11, 2022. The post also included the coordinates of the actual incident location, which can be used to locate the Nova Kakhovka bridge on Google Maps. The Twitter account War in Ukraine also shared the same footage on November 12, 2022, saying that it showed the November explosion.

According to a Reuters report dated November 11, 2022, significant damage was observed on the dam following Russia's withdrawal from the nearby city of Kherson. The report noted that the incident happened on November 11, 2022. The report also quoted Maxar, a U.S. satellite imagery company, stating, "Satellite images this morning... reveal significant new damage to several bridges and the Nova Kakhovka dam in the aftermath of the Russian retreat from Kherson across the Dnipro river."

The Verdict
A video from 2022 depicting an explosion on a bridge over the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine has been falsely circulated as a recent incident of a breach in the dam. The explosion captured in the viral video actually occurred on November 11, 2022. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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