"Russian propaganda and the money of Russian oligarchs, who still sponsor mass media in the West, sow these doubts [regarding the responsibility of either Russia or Ukraine for blowing up the Kakhovka HPP]. But the military has no doubt that the Russians did it," Waldemar Skrzypczak, a well-known Polish expert, ex-commander of the Polish ground forces, ex-deputy minister of national defense, told an Ukrinform correspondent in an interview.
According to him, the Russians had everything ready for this a long time ago. In particular, they planted explosives there last year, when the Ukrainian army was conducting an active operation in Kherson direction.
"They were waiting for the right moment because they are afraid of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Russian army was frightened by the Ukrainian actions in Bakhmut and Kharkiv directions and in Zaporizhzhia direction, where the Ukrainian army is attacking, although this is not yet a counteroffensive, but an operational deception of the enemy," the expert emphasized.
Skrzypczak emphasized that the political consequence of the Kakhovka HPP dam explosion for Russia must be "the total isolation of Russia in the international arena for causing a humanitarian catastrophe."
He believes that a corresponding resolution must be adopted at the UN level to place responsibility for this on Russia.
"This is an inhumane act, but one must realize that they have always acted this way, even in relation to their own citizens," the expert stated.
On the other hand, from a military point of view, as the Polish general noted, it will be difficult to cross the Dnipro River for two to three weeks due to the dam explosion because the water flow should decrease and the banks should dry out.
"The Russians were frightened because they thought that the Ukrainian army had launched a counteroffensive in several directions, so they defended their positions from the west by blowing up the dam so that Ukrainian forces would not cross the Dnipro. This was their military move as the Russians had previously redeployed part of their forces from the south to Zaporizhzhia direction, fearing that the main attack of the Ukrainian army would be there," the ex-commander of Poland's ground forces emphasized.
According to the expert, the Russian side did not gain an advantage from blowing up the dam but only secured the left wing of its troops which are in Zaporizhzhia direction. He drew attention to the fears of the Russians that part of the Ukrainian troops will cross the Dnipro and attack the groups stationed in Zaporizhzhia direction, as well as in the direction of Crimea.
"But, in my opinion, the Russians miscalculated because this direction was not considered by the Ukrainian command as the main one. The main direction is in another place, where there are more opportunities to maneuver and there is no need to cross the Dnipro," Skrzypczak said.
He added that crossing the Dnipro River could be an extremely difficult task.
"Whoever has crossed big rivers knows how difficult it is. I crossed the Odra, the Warta, the Vistula [rivers in Poland]. This is a very complex organizational process. In addition, the pictures show how many mines the Russians have placed on the opposite side of the Dnipro," the Polish general stated.