Ukraine claims to have broken through Russian lines as it fights to retake Kherson

Ukraine claims to have broken through Russian lines as it fights to retake Kherson

Ukraine says its troops broke through Russian lines near the southern city of Kherson, shortly after launching a long-awaited counter-offensive.

The strategic Black Sea port, which was captured by Moscow forces early in the conflict, still represents one of Russia’s most significant gains in six months of war.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a top adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said his country’s military broke through Russian defenses “within hours” of their attack.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Army’s Southern Command said it had managed to inflict heavy casualties on Russian units in the area, alleging that it had killed 82 soldiers and destroyed several ammunition depots.

The command’s spokesman said his counterattack around Kherson “undoubtedly weakened the enemy”.

However, Russia has denounced these claims, suggesting that Ukrainian attempts to regain territory in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions had “failed miserably”.

The Ukrainian soldiers were pushed back and suffered heavy casualties, according to Russian news agency RIA.

Russia’s denial follows Mr. Zelensky’s vow that his army would pursue Russian troops “to the border”.

Speaking on Monday evening, he said: “If they want to survive, it’s time for the Russian army to flee. Go home.”

“Ukraine is taking back its own,” he added.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed on Tuesday that several Ukrainian brigades had “increased the weight of artillery fire in frontline sectors across southern Ukraine” on Monday.

Although Russia has focused on strengthening its positions in Kherson since early August, its troops are still vulnerable there, according to the MoD.

“Most units around Kherson are likely understaffed and dependent on fragile supply lines by ferry and pontoon bridges over the Dnipro,” the defense ministry said.

In northeastern Ukraine, at least five people were killed and seven others injured by Russian shelling in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, said Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city.

The attack comes as Western officials said they planned to boost their stockpiles of weapons to help Ukraine.

“We are running out of stock. We are providing so much capability to Ukraine that we need to replenish our stocks,” EU foreign diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

The senior official also expressed confidence that the bloc would establish a mission to organize the military training of Ukrainian soldiers. So far, European countries have offered military advice to Ukraine individually, as there has been no official EU-wide policy.

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