Ukraine launches counter-offensive to retake Kherson from Russia

Kyiv has been planning for a major counter-offensive in its Russian-controlled southern regions for two months

BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT29 August 2022 • 2:57pm

Ukraine’s campaign to retake Russian-held territory in the south appeared to take a major step forward as officials on Monday announced the start of a long-awaited counter-offensive against Moscow’s forces.

As explosions were reported across the southern frontline, multiple officials confirmed Ukraine’s armed forces had “breached” Russia’s first line of defences around occupied Kherson in social media posts.

“The first line of Russian defences on the Kherson front has been breached,” Sergey Khlan, an aide to the ousted Ukrainian head of the Kherson region, said on the Telegram messaging app.

“Today there was a powerful artillery attack on enemy positions in… the entire territory of the occupied Kherson region,” he said.

“This is the announcement of what we have been waiting for since the spring – it is the beginning of the de-occupation of Kherson region.”

Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern operational command, added: “Today we started offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region.”

Kyiv has been planning for a major counter-offensive in its Russian-controlled southern regions for two months.

Kherson was the first major city to fall as Russian forces pushed north out of Crimea at the beginning of the invasion.

It has since been used by Moscow as a strategic hub and staging post for its offensives across southern Ukraine.

In the build-up to the attack, Ukraine’s armed forces have used Western-provided long-range rocket launchers to pummel Moscow’s supply lines and logistical hubs.

Phoenix, 25, stands in front of a school hit by a Russian strike close to Kherson, Ukraine.
Multiple officials confirmed Ukraine’s armed forces had “breached” Russia’s first line of defences around occupied Kherson CREDIT: Oliver Marsden

Overnight and on Monday morning, Russian targets were hit in no fewer than six towns occupied by Moscow’s forces, according to Mr Khlan.

The major operation appeared to start overnight with Himars strikes on Russian command centres and bridges, cutting off a supply of weapons and reinforcements to Russian forces in Kherson from occupied Crimea.

There were also unconfirmed reports that Ukraine’s armed forces had used tanks, artillery and aviation to break through the first line of Russian defences near Kherson.
The Kakhovka group of Ukrainian soldiers claimed they had forced the 109th regiment of the so-called people’s militia of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic from their defensive positions.

The Russian paratroopers said to have been sent to support them also fled the battlefield.

“In the Kherson region, Russian troops have moved away from their positions, paratroopers are fleeing the battlefield, ” the Kakhovka Operational Group of Troops said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Footage shared online appeared to show stockpiles of ammunition at an abandoned Russian position in the Kherson Oblast.

According to early reports from the Odesa-based Dumskaya newspaper, Ukraine’s armed forces liberated a number of settlements after launching their counter-offensive from the right bank of the Dnipro River.

Residents in the occupied town of Nova Kakhovka with Russian SIM cards were warned to evacuate the area by Kremlin-installed officials.

“An evacuation has been announced today during the day, the siren has been sounding most of the day. People have left their jobs, they are in bomb shelters,” said the city’s Russia-installed governor Vladimir Leontiev.

Nova Kharkova is the second biggest city in the Kherson region and is vital for securing supplies to Russia’s forces in Kherson city.

There were a number of strikes on Russian positions on Monday morning, with plumes of black smoke seen billowing into the skies above the time.

In what appeared to be initial retaliation from Moscow, Ukrainian officials reported heavy shelling on civilian buildings in Mykolaiv.

But pro-Kremlin officials refused to admit that the well-trailed offensive had begun.

“This is another Ukrainian propaganda fake,” said the pro-Russia head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov. “This is the same rubbish information as previously.”

5 comments

  1. 17:45 There is information that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are attacking not only bridges in the Kherson region, but also hitting the ferry crossings that the invaders built in order to cut off all possible escape routes for them.

    17:00 Details of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the south from the invaders have appeared.

    The “Wagnerites” public writes that our military carried out several successful attacks. In particular, on the Andreevka-Lozovoe direction, they managed to advance 10 km and occupy the village of Sukhoi Stavok (50-60 km north-west of Novaya Kakhovka).

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “In the Kherson region, Russian troops have moved away from their positions, paratroopers are fleeing the battlefield,”

    The day of reckoning has dawned over Kherson Oblast. The orcs will be held accountable, the people freed, and the beginning of the end for mafia land’s criminal war.
    Слава Україні!
    Слава його героям!

    Liked by 2 people

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