According to some reports, the Ukrainians advanced tens of kilometers. The sudden advance of the Ukrainian army on the southern front represented another military setback for the Kremlin in a short time. The Russians suffered heavy losses in recent weeks with the capture of the strategic cities of Izhum and Lyman in the northeast. Losing territory in the south is the last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals can use now.
Remarkably, Moscow made no attempt on Monday to conceal the Ukrainian advance. “With numerically superior tank units, the enemy has been able to penetrate deep into our defences,” a Defense Ministry spokesman said. According to him, the Ukrainians broke through the Russian lines in two places, one of which is Oleksandrivka, west of Kherson.
Tank units also managed to advance to the north of the city, along the Dnieper River. The remarkable breakthrough in southern Ukraine means that the Russian army is now pushed into a defensive position in several occupied territories along the vast front line stretching for hundreds of kilometers.
Isolate the Russians
Ukraine launched a major offensive on Kherson in the summer, but failed to break through Russian lines on a large scale. It worked, surprisingly for Russia and for the West, in the northeast near Kharkiv. Ukraine’s successes in this area are continuing, jeopardizing Russia’s positions in the Donbass region.
The Ukrainian military has been trying for months to detain an estimated 25,000 Russian soldiers on the western bank of the Dnieper River near Kherson. With the destruction of important bridges over the river, an attempt was made to isolate the Russians from the rest of their army on the other side of the river. At the same time, attempts are being made to advance towards the city from different directions, from the west and north-east, to force the Russians to surrender.
In the northeast of Kherson, the Ukrainians are said to have advanced tens of kilometers along the Dnieper in recent days. Remarkably, the pro-Russian administrators of Kherson openly recognize the flourishing progress. “Yes, there were already breakthroughs,” said Vladimir Saldo, the leader of the occupied zone. According to him, the Ukrainians managed to surprise the Russians in Dushany, which is about a hundred kilometers from Kherson, among other places. “There are settlements occupied by Ukrainian forces.”
Ukrainian service members arrive before the battle.
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Defense of Ukraine (DefenceU) October 1, 2022
never back down
This means that the Ukrainian army moved tens of kilometers south along the river, towards Kherson, without being stopped by the Russians. Duchani is about thirty kilometers from where the front line was last week.
A video clip shows soldiers raising the Ukrainian flag in the village of Mirolyubivka, about 20 kilometers from the area recently occupied by the Russian army. “All credit to our heroes,” Anton Hirashchenko, a senior adviser to the Interior Ministry, wrote on Twitter.
The coming days should show whether the rapid advance along the Dnieper towards Kherson will be a repeat of last month’s successful offensive in Kharkiv. Then the Russian army failed to stop the Ukrainian units. Thousands of soldiers fled, leaving behind many military equipment such as tanks and armored vehicles. There were no reports on Monday of a state of panic hitting Russian units north and west of Kherson.
Under pressure at bay
The Russian Defense Ministry said the soldiers withdrew and took defensive positions elsewhere in the two positions that Ukrainian tank units had breached. Russian artillery will also be shooting at the Ukrainians.
Even if the southern offensive continues to flourish in the coming weeks, the capture of Kherson will still be a huge task for the Ukrainians. The restoration of such a large city – Kherson had a population of about 300,000 before the conquest – is a very different military matter than the liberation of small cities such as Izhum and Lyman.
Reportedly, if the Ukrainian army was close to the gates of Kherson, the Russian units would be surrounded and forced to abandon the fight. However, such a massive surrender of the Russian soldiers has not yet occurred.
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