Destroyed Dam In Ukraine Reveals Skulls Dating Back to WWII

Photo Credit: MIKHAIL MORDASOV / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: MIKHAIL MORDASOV / AFP / Getty Images

The Kakhovka Dam has been in the news as of late, over allegations the Russian military was behind its collapse on June 6, 2023. Along with allowing 72 percent of the water from the Kakhovka Reservoir to spill over nearby residential areas, the collapse has caused an environmental disaster, impacting food supplies, animal life and the safety of drinking water. As the water recedes in Ukraine, a completely unrelated discovery has been made: skulls of WWII-era German soldiers.

Aerial view of houses submerged in water
Kherson following the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam, in Ukraine, June 7, 2023. (Photo Credit: Yan Dobronosov / Global Images Ukraine / Getty Images)

According to the Telegram channel Politika Strana, the skeletal remains were found in the mudflats at the bottom of the reservoir, in the Kherson oblast. The video footage shows that some of the skulls are wearing military helmets, which are similar to those worn by Wehrmacht soldiers during the Second World War.

Historians in Ukraine have suggested the skulls may date back to the Battle of the Dnieper, which was fought in the region during WWII. One of the largest campaigns to have occurred during the conflict, in terms of manpower, it saw 2.6 million Red Army soldiers take on just 1.1 million Germans.

Over the course of four months, from August-December 1943, the Soviets won themselves a hard-fought victory against Germany.

Speaking with The Guardian, Oleksii Kokot, a Ukrainian German military relics expert, said “dead German soldiers were just left lying in the fields,” meaning “these could really be German soldiers.” Andrii Solonets with the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War added, “The losses of German and Romanian troops were up to 20,000 people. So in theory this video showing the helmet and skull could be linked to those events.”

The discovery of the skulls has yet to be verified, with Ukraine’s government not yet having commented. This has led some to speculate the video is a hoax, with one Twitter user saying, “What makes me suspicious is the skull with helmet. I can’t see how the helmet could stay attached to the skull.”

While the skulls’ authenticity has been put into question, there have been other WWII-era relics discovered in the same region of Ukraine. In fact, the country’s interior ministry had previously warned people to not walk along the reservoir, as ammunition had been unearthed. A controlled explosion to remove the hazards was conducted on June 10, 2023.

More from us: Retired Soldiers ‘Strenuously Object’ to Removal of Confederate Names from National Ranger Memorial

According to The Guardian, if the remains prove to be Wehrmacht soldiers, their recovery will involve the German War Graves Commission. For officials to visit the site, it’s likely they’ll have to wait for the Russo-Ukrainian War to conclude.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

Writing Portfolio
Stories of the Unsolved