Last October, the Russian Federation alerted the United Nations they had uncovered a plot by Ukraine to blow the dam, and had begun evacuating about 80,000 people from Kherson to prevent them from being KILLED when the dam was blown. Russia sked the UN to intervene to prevent what would become a catastrophe if Ukraine carried out the dam attack. Here is Russia's letter to the UN:
Moreover, an article in the December 29, 2022 issue of the Washington Post reported back then that Ukraine's military command considered the option of artificially raising the water level in the Dnipro River as part of the operation to liberate Kherson, Maj. Gen. Andriy Kovalchuk, who led the counteroffensive, said in an interview with the Washington Post on Dec. 29.
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 Dnipro's water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings, but not flood nearby villages.
The strike on the dam was successful, he said, but its destruction remained a last resort, which was ultimately avoided.
According to Kovalchuk, his task was not only to liberate the territory.