Ukraine has gone on the offensive and launched a counter-offensive to strike back at Russian forces in the south.
The southern military command announced today that they had completed the much-anticipated maneuver, reflecting Kiev’s growing confidence as Western military aid pours in.
Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne quoted Southern Command spokesman Natalia Humeniuk as saying: “Today we have launched offensive actions in several directions, including in the Kherson region.”
She confirmed the news minutes later during a briefing.
Ukraine has been discussing a planned counter-offensive in the Russian-occupied southern regions for two months.
Ukraine has gone on the offensive and launched a counter-offensive to strike back at Russian forces in the south (Photo: Ukrainian military in Donetsk yesterday)
Humeniuk said Ukraine’s recent attacks on Russia’s southern logistics routes “have undoubtedly weakened the enemy,” adding that more than 10 Russian ammunition depots had been hit in the past week.
However, she declined to give more details about the new offensive.
“Every military operation needs silence,” she said, adding that Russian forces in the south are “quite powerful” and built up over a long period of time.
Russia quickly captured parts of southern Ukraine near the Black Sea coast, including Kherson, in the early stages of the war, in stark contrast to its failed attempt to take the capital, Kiev.
Ukraine has used advanced Western-supplied weapons to hit Russian ammunition depots and wreak havoc with supply lines. Humeniuk told a briefing Monday that Ukraine had hit more than 10 such ammunition depots in the past week, adding that they had “unquestionably weakened the enemy.”
She declined to give details of the counteroffensive, saying Russian forces in southern Ukraine remained “quite strong.”
Municipal workers clean up the rubble of a damaged building after a rocket fire in central Kharkiv . today
The governor of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula, Sergei Aksyonov, dismissed the announcement of a counter-offensive on Telegram as “another fake of Ukrainian propaganda.” Crimea borders the Kherson region.
The news came as a team from the UN nuclear watchdog headed to Ukraine to inspect the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant — which was occupied by Russian forces in March but is still run by Ukrainian personnel — which is a war hot spot. become.
Moscow and Kiev have exchanged accusations of shelling near the nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest and close to the war front lines, over fears of a radiation disaster in a country still haunted by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The IAEA said the mission would assess physical damage, evaluate the conditions in which plant personnel work and “determine the functionality of safety and security systems.” It would also “perform urgent security checks,” a reference to nuclear material tracking.
The Kremlin on Monday said the IAEA mission was “necessary” and urged the international community to pressure Ukraine to ease military tensions at the factory.
The United Nations, the United States and Ukraine have called for the withdrawal of military equipment and personnel from the nuclear complex to ensure it is not a target. But the Kremlin again ruled out leaving the site.
A Russian soldier fires a portable anti-tank guided missile ‘Kornet’ at a secret location in Ukraine
Fearing a nuclear accident, Zaporizhzhya authorities hand out iodine tablets and teach residents how to use them in the event of a radiation leak.
Earlier, the Ukrainian army reported shelling of nine more towns on the other side of the factory’s Dnipro.
The Russian defense ministry said its forces had shot down a Ukrainian drone that was trying to attack the nuclear power plant, Russian news agencies reported. It said there was no serious damage and radiation levels were normal.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.
Two of the plant’s reactors were cut off from the grid due to shelling last week.
Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear company Energoatom said it had no new information about attacks on the plant.
In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, Russian forces shelled military and civilian infrastructure near Bakhmut, Shumy, Yakovlivka, Zaytsevo and Kodema, the Ukrainian army said early Monday.
Russian attacks killed eight civilians in Donetsk province on Sunday, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
Russia denies targeting civilians.