Ukraine attacks Russian-held Kherson, plans counterattack. Ukraine claims to have launched a long-range rocket attack against Russian military installations and forces in southern Ukraine, which it plans to recover with a counteroffensive with hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
52 Russians were killed in the strike, which targeted an ammo dump in the Kherson area town of Nova Kakhovka, the Ukrainian military reported on Tuesday. Following the delivery of sophisticated high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from Washington to Ukraine, which Kyiv claims its armed forces are employing with increasing effectiveness, the incident occurred.
Ukraine attacks Russian-held Kherson, plans counterattack. A separate account of what happened was provided by a Russian officer stationed in Kherson. According to the Russian TASS news agency, he said that civilians and infrastructure had been targeted, and that at least seven people had been killed.
Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
The territory Ukraine struck is one that Russia seized after launching a full-scale invasion on February 24 – what Moscow called “a special military operation”. The area is of strategic importance, with Black Sea access, a once-thriving agricultural industry and a location just north of Russian-annexed Crimea.
Ukrainian government officials have spoken of efforts to marshal up to one million troops and of their aim to recapture southern parts of the country now under Russian control.
“Based on the results of our rocket and artillery units, the enemy lost 5️2 [people], an Msta-B howitzer, a mortar, and seven armoured and other vehicles, as well as an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka,” Ukraine’s southern military command said in a statement.
Unverified social media videos displayed smoke and sparkles before a huge flame erupted into the night sky. Images from Russian official television showed a wasteland covered in debris and the wreckage of demolished structures.
A representative of the locally imposed Russian government said that saltpetre stores had been destroyed by Ukraine using HIMARS missiles, a chemical substance that may be used to produce fertilizer or gunpowder. This caused a massive explosion.
According to the director of the military-civilian administration for the Kakhovka District, Vladimir Leontyev, who was placed by Russia, at least seven people were killed and about 60 were injured in the attack.
“There are still many people under the rubble. The injured are being taken to the hospital, but many people are blocked in their apartments and houses,” Leontyev was quoted by TASS as saying. He was also cited as saying that warehouses, shops, a pharmacy, gas stations and a church had been hit.
On Sunday, while the military of Kiev was preparing a counterattack, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine encouraged residents of Kherson to flee.
In anticipation of what it anticipates would be a big new Russian attack in the country’s east, where Moscow claims it is committed to seize control of the whole industrial Donbas region, Ukraine is preparing for the worst.
Russian soldiers have been pounding areas of the neighboring Donetsk province for weeks. They finished taking control of Luhansk province in the Donbas early this month.
Russian forces have been significantly bolstered, according to regional governor of Donetsk Pavlo Kyrylenko, especially in the Bakhmut and Siversky areas, as well as the vicinity of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
Russian troops were attempting to break through the front line in the area while it was constantly being shelled.
TASS reported separately that Russian and Russian-backed forces were encircling the town of Siversk.
Other locations in Ukraine were also under attack.
At least 12 people were wounded in shelling of the southern city of Mykolaiv overnight, the regional governor said.
Six people were injured in Russian shelling on Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said, after raids the previous day left seven dead across that region.
Ukrainian emergency services also said the death toll in the eastern town of Chasiv Yar had risen to 45, two days after Russian bombardment flattened a residential building in the Donetsk region of the Donbas.