Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station
© SputnikA Russian serviceman guarding the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station.
The Ukrainian military fired US-made HIMARS missiles at the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam in Kherson Region on Sunday, damaging one of the floodgates, emergency services have told RIA Novosti.

Six projectiles targeted the structure at around 10am local time. Five were intercepted by Russian air defenses, but one made it through, a representative said.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine aren't giving up on their attempts to destroy the dam of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station and create the circumstances for a humanitarian disaster," the statement explained.

The local authorities later clarified that the missile had failed to cause critical damage.

In recent weeks, Moscow has been blaming Kiev for attempting numerous attacks on the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam, which stands on the Dnieper River, upstream from the city of Kherson.

The Russian authorities began relocating civilians from the city and areas on the right bank of the Dnieper last month. The caretaker governor of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, explained that there was "an immediate danger of flooding in the territories due to the planned destruction of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam" by Ukrainian forces.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said "those living in Kherson must be evacuated from the most dangerous zone of action. The civilian population must not suffer from shelling, any kind of offensive and counter-offensive, and other activities related to military operations."

However, Ukraine has claimed that Russia had been planning to blow up the dam itself in a false-flag operation aimed at framing Kiev for the flooding. Those claims have been repeatedly denied by Moscow.

Kherson Region was officially declared part of Russia in early October, together with Zaporozhye Region and the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after people in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums.

In recent weeks, the Ukrainian military has repeatedly tried to advance on Kherson, but all of those attacks have been repelled.

On Sunday, Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the regional administration, said Kiev had been "deploying more and more APCs and tanks" near Kherson in what could be preparation for another offensive.