Ukrainian troops begin large-scale counteroffensive in Kherson
The Ukrainian Army announced today that it had succeeded in breaking through the Russian defense lines in the region of Kherson. Representatives of the operational group of troops in Kakhovka, on the left bank of the Dnieper River and in the center of the Kherson region, posted a video on their Facebook page, in which an apparently Russian soldier with a bloody face assures that the troops Ukrainians «broke the first line of defense (…) they are attacking with everything they have, tanks, planes, artillery…». The recording was allegedly found on the cell phone of the Russian soldier, whose whereabouts have not been given any information, if he was able to flee, he was arrested or killed.
The same Ukrainian military source in Kakhovka maintains that, during the fighting, the 109th regiment of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) had to “abandon their positions as did the Russian paratroopers who were giving them support.” The ‘Gromadske’ publication stressed that the information on the advance and withdrawal of the 109 regiment was confirmed by three of its sources in different units of the Ukrainian Army in the south of the country.
According to the Ukrainian agency UNIAN, the Ukrainian military stressed that “US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launchers destroyed almost all the large bridges over the Dnieper in the Kherson region” occupied by Russian troops in the first days of the invasion ordered by President Vladimir Putin, on February 24.
According to the statement released by the Kakhovka military operative group, “we are talking about the destruction of railway and automobile bridges, the Antonovski and Novokakhovski (…) only a few pedestrian crossings remained. The supply of weapons and personnel to the Russian Army from the territory of Crimea has also been cut off. For Ukraine, this is a brilliant opportunity to return its territories.”
The Ukrainian soldiers show on the networks videos of the Russian weapons abandoned during the withdrawal, mostly ammunition. Shortly after, Natalia Gumeniuk, head of the Press Center for the Joint Coordination of the Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine, confirmed that the Ukrainian Army forced the Donetsk 109 regiment to give up its positions.
Russian military-related Telegram channels claimed that the Ukrainian military were trying to break through in the area of Posad-Pokrovske amid the “escalation along the entire front-line”. Posad-Pokrovske lies on the highway connecting Mykolaiv to Kherson. pic.twitter.com/mLvHDXvuTQ
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 29, 2022
‘Gromadske’ states that “Ukrainian Armed Forces also launched attack operations in many other areas of southern Ukraine”, citing Gumeniuk as well. In his words, “those eight powerful blows were inflicted not only on the enemy’s firing positions, but also on their combat morale. The enemy is demoralized, confused. He finds it difficult to gather forces for future maneuvers. Having entrenched himself and feeling in a more or less protected state between reinforced concrete structures, he does not want to go on the attack». The Ukrainian media assure that the Ukrainian troops have already recovered the town of Suji Stávok.
On July 27, the Antonovski Bridge over the Dnieper River, located on the outskirts of the city of Kherson, had to be closed to traffic after it had been shelled the night before by Ukrainian troops as part of a counteroffensive to recover the entire region that has been made to wait a month.
The bridges, key
The recently destroyed bridges over the Dnieper, if the information from kyiv is true, were key to supplying the group of Russian troops on the right bank of the river, since they connected with the other bank and with the rest of the Kherson region, thus leaving the Russian forces isolated from the main body and without the operational capacity to try to advance west, towards Mykolaiv and Odessa.
In early July, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk appealed to residents of the Russian-occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions to leave the area as soon as possible. She said the evacuation “is necessary so that the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not endanger the civilian population during the counter-offensive.”