Ukraine at D+468: Dniepr Valley flooded.
N2K logoJun 7, 2023

Ukraine evacuates thousands downstream of the breached Nova Kakhovka dam. Increased fighting is reported along the front, as Ukraine probes Russian lines, advancing in some places five to ten kilometers.

Ukraine at D+468: Dniepr Valley flooded.

Ukrainian forces advance at many points into Russian-occupied territory. Some of the stiffest fighting continues to develop in the vicinity of Bakhmut. Russian authorities have minimized Ukrainian gains, representing the incipient counteroffensive as already having failed, with heavy losses: 3715 Ukrainian casualties set against only seventy-one Russian dead. "The attempts at an offensive have failed. The enemy has been halted. Russian soldiers and officers displayed courage and heroism in the battles," the BBC quotes Russian Defense Minister Shoigu as saying. But other sources disagree. Wagner Group boss Prigozhin, for one, publicly called Moscow's claims "simply wild and absurd science fiction."

Whether Ukrainian operations represent the start of a general offensive or remain preparatory action remains controversial. Russia says Ukraine has begun its counteroffensive. Ukraine (while congratulating its forces on local advances) has been slow to announce a general attack. US sources tend to agree with Russia that the offensive is underway, although US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army General Milley, cautioned yesterday that it was still early to be sure. “There’s activity throughout Russian-occupied Ukraine and fighting has picked up a bit,” he said during D-Day commemorative observances in Normandy. The Institute for the Study of War as of this morning was still withholding judgment.

General flooding south of the breached Nova Kakhovka dam.

The destruction of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River has forced the evacuation of thousands, Radio Free Europe | Radio Liberty reports. Kherson, the largest city downstream of the damage, is flooded, and the flooding in the Dnieper valley is held likely to inhibit Ukrainian attacks in that zone.

The UK's Ministry of Defence this morning reviewed the sabotage of the Kakhovka dam. "The Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam partially failed just before 0300hrs local time on 06 June 2023. By 1200hrs, the entire eastern portion of the dam and much of the hydro and utilities infrastructure was swept away. The water level in the Kakhovka Reservoir was at a record high before the collapse, resulting in a particularly high volume of water inundating the area downstream. Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which sits 120km away from the dam, is highly unlikely to face immediate additional safety issues as a result of the dropping water levels in the reservoir. The dam’s structure is likely to deteriorate further over the next few days, causing additional flooding."

Environmental damage to the steppe will probably be widespread and enduring. That damage, along with general destruction of civilian infrastructure, may constitute, Atlantic Council experts argue, a war crime. Ukraine has warned of Russian threats to the dam since last October, and Russia is by general consensus among observers, responsible for the sabotage.

Current Russian cyber operations focus on espionage.

CERT-UA warned Monday of a Russian cyber campaign that prospects government and media targets for the purpose of collection. It uses LONEPAGE malware, a PowerShell script, to stage information stealers and keyloggers in its targets. The campaign, which has been active in the second half of last year, is consistent with recent Russian cyber operations in that its goal is espionage as opposed to either influence or sabotage.