According to their own statements, the Ukrainian armed forces have launched the announced counter-offensive against the Russian armed forces in the south of the country. The responsible military command south announced on Monday afternoon that the offensive was going in different directions, including the region around the city of Cherson. It has been occupied by Russian troops for months. The civilian population was called upon to leave the contested areas for their own safety.
For two months it has been expected that Ukraine will attack the territories occupied by Russia in the south. The Russian armed forces have made little progress on the front lines in the east and south in recent weeks. Ukraine’s Southern Command spokeswoman Natalia Humenyuk said recent attacks on Russian supply routes had “undoubtedly weakened the enemy.” Within the past week, ten ammunition depots of the Russian military have been hit.
Humenyuk did not want to give any further information about the offensive. However, she pointed out that the Russian armed forces in the south were “quite strong” and had been built up over a longer period of time. Russia currently controls around 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory.
The recapture of Kherson would be a great success
A first Russian line of defense is said to have already been breached. Videos on social networks showed clouds of smoke over the city and rockets in the sky, but these recordings have not been verified. The current situation is currently unclear.
For weeks, Ukrainian forces had been using multiple rocket launchers and a series of attacks on Russia’s annexed Crimea peninsula to cut off supplies for the Russian army in the region. Retaking Kherson would be a great success for the Ukrainian army and a major setback for Moscow. At the beginning of the war, the city was taken almost without resistance, possibly also because of collaborators in the secret service and the city administration.
In the past few weeks, Russian troops have concentrated on the Donbass in the east with the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and southern Ukraine along the Black Sea coast. With the help of modern weapon systems from the West, Ukraine has managed to stop the Russian advance in recent weeks.
Zelensky warns of global fatigue in the face of war
In the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, however, private houses were still under Russian fire on Monday, according to the authorities, several people were killed. “The center of the city is under heavy shelling. Rockets are still being fired. Do not leave the shelters,” regional governor Vitaly Kim wrote on Telegram.
The town of Energodar, near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, was shelled late Sunday, news site Ukrainska Pravda said. She also reported that Russia had hit the city of Sarny in the western Rivne region with rockets, hitting a military target. Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, was hit again by Russian rockets, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian General Staff said on Facebook that in the Donbass, several Russian attempts to carry out attacks near Sloviansk, Bakhmut and Avdiivka had failed.
Also on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of global exhaustion in the face of the Russian invasion. “Russia is trying to create a sense of global fatigue over its war in Ukraine, among other things by successfully driving up energy prices by restricting the flow of natural gas, Zelensky said.