Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2023

In Osteuropa 1-2/2023

The Kachovka Reservoir
Economic Engine and Theatre of War

Ihor Pylypenko, Daria Malchykova

Deutsche Fassung


Created in the 1950s, the Kachovka Reservoir in south-eastern Ukraine is of considerable importance for the country’s energy and agricultural sectors. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is cooled with water from the lake, along with a nearby coal-fired power plant produced almost 30 percent of the electricity generated in Ukraine before Russia’s attack on the country. Since the 1960s, the reservoir has also enabled the construction of an extensive canal system that supplies millions of people with water and irrigates vast agricultural areas. Immediately after its February 2022 invasion, Russia reopened the North Crimean Canal, which was closed by Ukraine after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Now, however, the occupying forces are draining water from the Kachovka reservoir in huge quantities. It is to be feared that, if forced to retreat, Russian troops will blow up the dam at Nova Kachovka.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2023, pp. 53–60)