Satellite photos show flooding around Kyiv, protecting the capital from Russian advances in a possible instance of 'hydraulic warfare'

  • A river basin to the northwest of Kyiv has been flooded.

  • It's unclear whether this was intentional, but it could be a move to block Russian troops.

  • If the troops were unable to cross the river, they wouldn't be able to capture Kyiv from the West, per CNN.

Satellite images show flooding in the Irpin River basin northwest of Kyiv.

It is unclear what caused the flooding, but this could be a strategic move by Ukraine to block the advance of Russian troops on the capital, analysts have said. The basin borders a large reservoir.

It could be an example of "hydraulic warfare" from Ukraine to block the advancing Russian troops targeting the city's northwest, analysts previously told the Washington Post. If the Russian forces cannot cross the Irpin river, they will not be able to take Kyiv from the west, according to CNN.

Side by side images of the Irpin river basin.
Annotated satellite images show the Irpin river basin on February 28 and March 22.Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

According to the UK's defense intelligence, Russian troops have driven towards Kyiv from the north, west, and east since the war began on February 24. Capturing Kyiv is seen as Russia's primary goal in its invasion of Ukraine, but it has struggled to make headway facing fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine said Tuesday that it had recaptured Makariv, a town west of Kyiv, the Associated Press said, further blunting Russia's ambition to launch an assault on the city from the northwest.

a map shows location of events in the story
A map of the region around Kyiv shows the Irpin River Basin, Makariv, and the likely axes of Russian troop advances, per the UK Defense.Google Maps/Insider

Ukraine's ambassador to the US said on February 26 that Russian forces had destroyed a dam in the water reservoir North of Kyiv. However, it is unclear whether that event is connected to the flooding, per The Washington Post.






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