Skip to main content



Ukraine missed huge opportunity by not capturing Kakhovka dam

Jun 09, 2023


The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine has caused some towns to be submerged by flooding and has raised fears of a catastrophic humanitarian disaster. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan thinks Ukraine missed a huge opportunity by not capturing the dam before it was destroyed. He argues that from a military perspective, blowing it up was a smart move by the Russians as it will impede Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

He also confronts the trolls and bots on Twitter that claim it was the Ukrainians who destroyed the dam.

Excerpted from Peter’s June 8 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

I don’t usually do this, but today I’m going to be talking about the #haters. We’ll also dive a little deeper into the Kakhovka dam that was destroyed by the Russians.

I’ll let the video speak for itself today, but I’ll leave you with two thoughts.

Number 1: If you need to get across a dam, why would you blow it up before you cross it?

Number 2: If you’re not a bot or troll, maybe come up with a username other than @Tony89380945

Hey everyone, Peter Zion here coming to you from my favorite Front Range foothills trail. It’s called the Golden banner I can see in the south all the way to Castle Rock in the north all the way to the Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is a great place to see a show. By the way, I’m going to do something today that I don’t normally do. I’m going to talk about the haters. Yesterday, I released a video or guests that would be this morning, released a video on why the Russians blew up the COVID Dam. And people came out of the woodwork to say it doesn’t I didn’t know what I was talking about. And obviously it was the Ukrainians. Just to give you a quick refresh two things. Number one, the Ukrainians are starting their counter offensive. And by blowing up the dam, what the Russians have done is they’ve made a direct crossing of the dam impossible, obviously. But they’ve also made an amphibious landing on either side of the dam on the river impossible. Because the reservoir above the river is now draining very, very quickly. And independent of that being a dangerous environment, it’s going to leave behind a muddy bed, which is gonna be very difficult to get any vehicles across. And then south of the river, everything is flooded. And when the waters do recede a couple of weeks from now, again, very, very muddy and difficult to move. So any sort of amphibious landing is going to be impossible. In addition, most of the thrust probably is going to be south from his opera needs to towards the Sea of Azov. And in that sort of scenario, Russian forces are going to have a choice of going one or two directions, then go east to the Donbass and get back to Mother Russia, or then go Southwest and cross over into the Crimean peninsula. If the Ukrainians had been able to capture the COVID Dam, rather than have it destroyed, they had the chance of actually cutting those forces off. And then you might have 10s of 1000s of encircled Russian troops that would have to surrender. And the global hit to Russian power from that would have been immense, that has now completely off the table. So from a purely military perspective, the Russians made a wise move. There’s also a long term economic issue. million acres of southern Ukraine is no longer good irrigation water, because it was came from that reservoir, water levels now dropped below the levels of the canal. So they’re dry, aside from a few pockets of dry wheat. That’s it. So you’ve just taken the single largest chunk of agricultural land in history off Long Island, all at once. Yikes. Anyway, back to the dam. This might seem kind of simple, but dams are giant pieces of reinforced concrete that are hundreds of feet thick at the base, this thing is 1500 feet from one side to the other, it’s at least 200 feet thick, probably thicker. So we just didn’t keep good data on that for the rest of us. And you don’t just throw a few bombs at this. If you want to take out the dam from the air, you attack the weak points, those are specifically the control gates. And the navigation locks that you have on both sides up and below. That’s not what was hit if the navigation locks were hit, that would be where the water is flowing through their high and dry now. And if the control gates were hit that wouldn’t have necessarily led to a structural failure across the entire length of the dam, which is exactly what we’re seeing. Now this thing was blown up from the inside, specifically with tons of explosives, specifically located in the turbine room. And for the Ukrainians to have done that they would have had to have launched an attack on the dam somehow the Russians, who had been preparing for this for a year didn’t notice, and then managed to smuggle like two cargo trucks worth of explosives and place them and hit the trigger. And then in an in and out, you’re also not going to do this with 500 pound bombs, or at least not one or two. So you know, the other aircraft ideas like a direct attack on the damn. Well, I mean, number one that requires aircraft, and there was no indication of aircraft or anti aircraft fire in this area that night. And you’re not going to do it with one plane you can do with several because it takes a lot to crack one of these suckers open. And then third, Ukrainians don’t have fighter bombers. I mean, they inherited a few from the Soviet Union they had at the end of the war, they haven’t been flying in them, because they’re not any good in the dogfight role. And they don’t have the bombs that would be necessary anyway. So you’re talking about what multiple dumb drops with weapons that they don’t have from platforms that they really don’t fly? I’m sorry. The people who say that this was Ukraine are just headless at this point, anyway. Well, I guess that’s the whole point. The Bots are trolls. So this was definitely the Russians one more thing. And yes, sometimes dams fail, but there’s always warning, you’ll have cracks. You’ll have leaks. You they don’t fail catastrophically overnight. And yeah, yeah, this has been in a war zone. But it’s not like it’s been under attack, and for all fail catastrophically, from within on the day that the Ukrainians are starting their counter offensive. Yeah, no. Let’s talk about bots and troll so I have always had to deal with a lot of bots and a lot of trolls from a lot of places with the Russians probably being at the top of that list. They at one point were probably about 10, maybe even 15% of my total
followers just before the war started, but then the war started. And when the war started, Western governments and the social media companies decided that enough was enough. And they had a broad scale purge of the Russian presence, both from the social media platforms themselves, and the crackdown on the financial transfers that allowed them to hire trolls in other countries to make it look like they weren’t, you know, Russian sourced. That all went away in the first two weeks of the war. And I probably saw the number of trolls and bots on my platform dropped by 99%. But then Elon Musk took over and said that this violates his idea of free speech. And so they’re all back. In fact, I’d argue that there’s twice as many now as the war before the war. And they all came out of the woodwork in the last 24 hours to scream at me over the cukurova thing.
What do you do about bots? What do you do about trolls, so first, you have to identify him, as a rule, if they have a lot of numbers after the line, you know, it’s a troll or you know, it’s a bot. Because there’s not a lot of creativity that’s put into the profiles, if you really want to, you can scan through their feed, and you’ll see that a lot of these guys quote one another. And
a lot of these guys quote one another. So it really is kind of a just a circular economy of crap. Second, don’t date with them. If you do, they will make it into your feed on a regular basis as well, their friends, the way, Musk has rejiggered the algorithm is any engagement from you, it shows interest. So if there’s a topic you don’t care about, if you just think they’re completely wrong, and misinformation, don’t engage, because you’ll get more and more and more and more of that. Third, don’t block them and mute them. If you block them, they’re going to know and they’re going to move on and try a different strategy. But if you mute them, they don’t know and they’re screaming into the void. And they will ever show up on your feed or your platform again, and then they’re wasting their time and their money and not yours. So hopefully this clears up a few things. For those of you who are real people and real followers. I hope this filled in some gaps for you. For those of you who are trolls, you can always reach me at my direct personal email. I’m a Toodles

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion