What caused it to fail is open to debate. Russia has claimed it was Ukraine. Ukraine has claimed it was Russia.
It's most plausible to have been a desperate and very dangerous move by Ukraine- And one the US is surely aware of.
Below I will share my opinion and the reason for it
Let’s go back to Oct 20/22
At that time it was clear to me should the Kakhova dam be blown- Ukraine would be the biggest beneficiary. One very important consideration that I hadn’t made at that time is the fact that by destroying this dam Crimea will have a water problem- Which is a definite problem for Russia.
Maj General Andriy Kovalchuk is quoted in the WP piece- Let’s read his words together
Kovalchuk considered flooding the river. The Ukrainians, he said, even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the Nova Kakhovka dam, making three holes in the metal to see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages.
The test was a success, Kovalchuk said, but the step remained a last resort. He held off.
Until the last resort became necessary. Until now. Likely as part of Ukraine’s counter offensive. Though it does feel to me as if it’s a last ditch desperation move.
Going back to my October 22 report I mentioned that underwater drones had been given to Ukraine by the UK- The Remus underwater submarine drone.
Possibly this drone was deployed to cause the already damaged dam to fail?
Possibly the Ukrainians simply raised the water levels high enough to destroy the already damaged dam?
Possibly they used other means to weaken the already damaged dam?
Despite Russia’s claim aligning with my own the reality is Ukraine being responsible for this is the one theory that makes the most sense. The spin will be momentous and it will spread through the compliant media for all the propaganda value that can be mustered. It’s a false flag with very frightening ramifications
“This is deliberate sabotage, planned and organized by the Kiev regime,” said the Russian Presidency spokesman Dmitri Peskov, who rejected the accusations of Ukraine and NATO, which try to blame the Russians for what happened.
Preliminary reports from the emergency services show that Ukrainian troops fired 37 howitzer shells and two more from the Alder MLRS system at Kherson towns such as Kakhovka and Novaya Kakhovka.
As a result of the sabotage of the dam, the water flooded the city of Novaya Kakhovka and threatens some 80 villages where about 20,000 people live.
“One of the purposes of this sabotage is to deprive Crimea of water,” Peskov explained, adding that the North Crimean Canal’s water supply has already been reduced.
“This distraction is also related to the fact that, having launched a large-scale offensive two days ago, the Ukrainian forces are not achieving their objectives,” he commented.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Rafael Grossi assured that the water level in the cooling tank of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant systems had decreased in a worrying way as a result of the damage to the dam.