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Kakhovka HPP explosion threatens 195 archaeological sites

Kakhovka HPP explosion threatens 195 archaeological sites Kakhovka HPP explosion threatens existence of almost 200 monuments (Collage RBC-Ukraine)

Russia's detonation of the Kakhovka HPP has endangered 195 archaeological sites spanning from the Stone Age to modern times, according to the presentation of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Ukraine.

Viktor Chabai, a correspondent member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and director of the Institute of Archaeology, described the detonation of the Kakhovka Dam by the occupiers as a new challenge for Ukraine. In the Kakhovka Reservoir area alone, there are 95 known monuments under threat of destruction.

"The undermining by the occupiers of the Kakhovka HPP dam has become a new challenge for all of Ukraine. In the area of the Kakhovka Reservoir alone, 95 archaeological monuments are known. Including the South Buza and Berezan estuaries, the number of potentially affected monuments has reached almost 200. The chronological range is from the Stone Age to modern times. The man-made disaster caused by the explosion of the Kakhovka HPP not only exposed many archaeological monuments and individual finds but also exacerbated the problem of preserving Ukrainian cultural heritage in the broadest sense of the word," stated the scientist.

He pointed out that the Dnipro floodplains have been submerged since 1956, submerging the remains of five Zaporizhzhia sichs.

"These fortifications, the hubs of the Zaporizhzhia grassroots army, were established in various parts of the Dnipro floodplain at different times and played a crucial role in the formation of the Ukrainian Cossack state. However, the legacy of ancient times also holds significant pan-European significance. Primarily, it concerns the traces of ancient civilization, which are considered evidence of participation in European civilization," stated Viktor Chabai.

This year, field research was conducted on the territory that had already been freed from water, led by Valerii Nefodov, an employee of the Khortytsia National Museum-Reserve.

"As a result, 15 clusters of archaeological artifacts were discovered. However, the most significant aspect of Nefodov's research is that the condition of the artifacts he found was documented. All of them are in satisfactory condition. Few could have predicted the condition of the artifacts after being submerged for almost 70 years," stated the director of the Institute of Archaeology.

He also mentioned that 10 days ago, the joint research of the Institute of Archeology and the Protective Archaeological Service of Ukraine on the shores of the Southern Buh and Berezan estuaries was completed, where the fluctuation of the water level was not as catastrophic as, for example, near Nova Kakhovka.

"This fluctuation in water levels triggered coastal abrasion, leading to landslides on the shores of the estuaries. The landslides destroyed thousands of square meters of archaeological monuments. Ancient settlements and necropolises located on the shores of the estuaries suffered the main destruction. Of course, the data obtained are not final, and, unfortunately, they will only increase. Research in the territories where active hostilities are currently ongoing will lead to their increase. It is difficult to even imagine the extent of the damage caused by the 'famous' Surovikin line - tens of kilometers of trenches that stretched across the Ukrainian Steppe," emphasized Chabai.