June 18 (Reuters) - Evidence suggests this month's destruction of the huge Kakhovka dam in a Russian-controlled area of Ukraine resulted from an inside explosion set off by Russia, the New York Times said.
Citing engineers and explosive experts, the newspaper said on Friday that its investigation found evidence suggesting an explosive charge in a passageway running through the dam's concrete base detonated, destroying the structure on June 6.
"The evidence clearly suggests the dam was crippled by an explosion set off by the side that controls it: Russia," the Times said.
Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the Soviet-era dam, under Russian control since early days of its invasion in 2022, unleashing floodwater across a large swath of the battleground, destroying farmland and cutting off water supplies to civilians.
The Times cited engineers as saying only a full examination of the dam after the water drains from it can establish the sequence of events leading to the destruction.
"Erosion from water cascading through the gates could have led to a failure if the dam were poorly designed, or the concrete was substandard, but engineers called that unlikely," the newspaper said.
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