Interactive Map: Visualizing Flooding in Kherson, Ukraine

The destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam on June 6, 2023, is significantly changing the geography and topography of the Kherson frontline sector in southern Ukraine.

ISW has developed a new interactive map, enabled by the Dr. Jack London Geospatial Fund, which allows a user to a swipe bar to show the before and aftereffects of flooding in Kherson Oblast. This map also shows how flooding has impacted Russian control of terrain on the left bank of the Dnipro River between June 5 and 9.

Flooding has deprived Russian forces of previously held positions in at least 12 settlements on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River and has pushed Russian lines back as far as 10 kilometers in some areas. The flooding has destroyed many Russian first line field fortifications that the Russian military intended to use to defend against Ukrainian attacks. Rapid flooding has likely forced Russian personnel and military equipment in Russian main concentration points in Oleshky and Hola Prystan to withdraw. Russian forces had previously used these positions to shell Kherson City and other settlements on the west (right) bank of Kherson. Russian forces have lost control over an estimated 375 square kilometers of territory on the left bank of Dnipro River to flooding as of June 9. 

It is unclear how these terrain changes will affect maneuver warfare in southern Ukraine at this time. ISW will continue to monitor the situation.

Note on methodology: The Institute for the Study of War assessed the extent of the flooding based on an analysis of commercially available near-infrared imagery. This map does assess floodwater depth. Not all objects withinin the visualized flooding extent are fully submerged.