Ukrainian troops fighting invading Russian military personnel are obtaining early successes in a recently announced counteroffensive operation in the Kherson region of Ukraine, which is in the country’s south.
Russian troops took over the regional capital, the city of Kherson, months earlier in the war, and the ongoing counteroffensive effort by Ukraine is targeting Russian troops positioned in the city in addition to those in surrounding areas. A Ukrainian military source identified the city to CNN as the “main target” of the operation, according to the outlet’s reporting. The same source, who the outlet didn’t publicly identify, also told CNN that Ukrainian forces reclaimed Kherson-area settlements including Novodmytrivka, Arkhanhel’s’ke, Tomyna Balka, and Pravdyne. In addition to broader concerns, even geographically small settlements can provide substantial strategic advantages for whichever side holds the area. The Ukrainian military source described the Ukrainian counter-offensive as relatively expansive. “The operation began at night with massive shelling of Russian positions and the rear,” they said.
Ukrainian troops have broken through Russian defenses at “multiple” points in Kherson-area frontlines, per available info reported on by CNN. In public remarks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy maintains a goal of reclaiming all Ukrainian territory seized by Russia — including the Crimean peninsula and areas in the eastern part of the country occupied by Putin-backed separatists. “Anyone want to know what our plans are?” Zelenskyy said Monday. “You won’t hear specifics from any truly responsible person. Because this is war. And this is what it is during the war. But the occupiers should know: we will oust them to the border. To our border, the line of which has not changed. The invaders know it well. If they want to survive, it is time for the Russian military to flee. Go home. If you are afraid to return to your home in Russia – well, let such occupiers surrender, and we will guarantee them compliance with all norms of the Geneva Conventions. If they do not listen to me, they will deal with our defenders, who will not stop until they liberate everything that belongs to Ukraine.”
This week, Ukrainian government adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said ongoing counteroffensive operations by his country’s troops “will end with the installation of the Ukrainian flag over all the settlements of Ukraine.” Ukrainian troops “have broken through the frontline in several sectors,” he remarked in an interview. Throughout recent stages of the war, Ukrainian troops have targeted Russian supplies and routes for delivering those supplies. Discussing bridges over the Dnipro River, Ukrainian military spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk said this week that Russians “do not have the transport ability to pull up reserves from the Left bank. Therefore, they create the illusion of pulling up reserves by moving military units between the settlements… All bridges have been worked by us as impassable… They may continue to try to set up a ferry or pontoon crossing, but the whole area where it can be deployed is also under our fire control and will be hit.”