Martin Johansson at Operation Aid on site in Ukraine

The water is rising and thousands are left without homes.
The situation in Kherson is described as desperate after the big dam was blown up.
– It’s cold, wet people who need urgent help, says Swedish volunteer Martin Johansson, on site in Ukraine.

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after the destruction of the Kakhovka power plant dam in southern Ukraine. Pictures from the area show residents boating and swimming along the streets.

Martin Johansson, who is a volunteer and construction manager for Operation Aid, is a couple of hours outside Kherson when TV4 reaches him. The Swede is on his way to the most flood-affected areas, after delivering ambulances in Kramatorsk.

– It is quite simply an underwater Kherson. And there are heavy masses of water coming. It’s cold, wet people who need urgent help, he says.

– Tens of thousands of people along the river to the Black Sea will be affected. It is another humanitarian and environmental disaster, of course. We have to keep working, he continues.


See pictures from the area in the clip

The expert: Long-term consequences

Martin tells us that he will arrive during the evening and has a lot of work ahead of him.

– We have acquired boats, so we get to help those who are most in urgent need of help, he says.

Jörgen Elfving, former lieutenant colonel, agrees: What has happened in southern Ukraine is a disaster, both humanitarian and ecological. He says that Ukraine will have to live with the consequences for a very long time.

– This means that people are evacuated, and it blocks the flow of internal refugees in Ukraine and possibly also refugees to countries outside Ukraine, with all that that means, he says.

– This also affects the electricity and water supply in this area and there is also damage to agricultural land and other things. This is an extremely large disaster, continues the military expert.

Two possible motives

Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the exploded dam and at the moment few know who is responsible. However, many observers believe that the facility has been blown up from within.

– I see two possible motives. A Ukrainian motive could be to influence the water supply to Crimea and thereby put pressure on the Russian side. The Russian motive would be to influence a Ukrainian counter-offensive, says Jörgen Elfving.