The strategically significant Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine has allegedly been destroyed in what Kyiv is calling an act of "ecocide" committed by Moscow's forces.

Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported early Tuesday that Russian forces blew up the dam.

A video shared on social media captured the moment when a massive breach in the dam resulted in a torrential deluge of water gushing out. The force of the water caused widespread damage, posing a significant threat to the surrounding area.

The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River, located approximately 20 miles east of Kherson, sparks a large-scale humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine.

The Nova Kakhovka dam, a critical structure spanning the vast Dnipro River in Ukraine, serves the vital purpose of containing a massive reservoir of water. With a height of 30 meters and hundreds of meters in width, the dam has been a significant feature since its construction in 1956 as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, the Guardian reported.

The water stored in the reservoir plays a crucial role in providing water supply to both the Crimean Peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The Nova Kakhovka dam not only helps in water management, but also contributes to Ukraine's energy sector through the operation of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant. Its destruction would cause additional ramifications to the country that is already grappling with energy challenges, following Russia's previous targeting of vital infrastructure.

The Nova Kakhovka dam has been a significant location of interest since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine due to its strategic importance, combined with the potentially catastrophic consequences of its destruction. The dam came under Russian control during the initial invasion by Moscow and has remained under Russian occupation since then.

In a Facebook post, Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs said that 742 people have been evacuated from the Kherson region.

"We are helping citizens in the liberated west-bank part of the Kherson region. We are worried about our people who remained in the temporarily occupied east bank part of the region," said Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko.

Meanwhile, the ministry also said: "Water is coming. The situation is complicated by the fact that some roads are being washed away. This makes it impossible to drive to some settlements. Evacuation teams are looking for other ways."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also swiftly responded to the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam by calling an emergency meeting with his security chiefs.

The dam's destruction "only confirms for the whole world" that Russian forces "must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land," he said, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, called the act an "ecocide."

"The Russians will be responsible for the possible deprivation of drinking water for people in the south of Kherson region and in Crimea, the possible destruction of some settlements and the biosphere," he said.

A senior aide to Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the dam's destruction would "create obstacles for the offensive actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

"This once again confirms that the Kremlin is not thinking strategically, but rather in terms of short-term situational advantages. But the consequences are already catastrophic," he told CNN.

Breached dam in Ukraine's south unleashes floodwaters
Breached dam in Ukraine's south unleashes floodwaters