Heavy combating rages in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied south



KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine claimed to have destroyed bridges and ammunition depots and pounded command posts in a surge of combating within the Russian-occupied south, fueling hypothesis Tuesday that its long-awaited counteroffensive to attempt to flip the tide of conflict was underway. Russia stated it repelled the assault and inflicted heavy casualties.

The clashes passed off within the nation’s Kherson area, the place Moscow’s forces rolled up main positive factors early within the conflict. However Ukrainian authorities stored the world guessing about their intentions.

Whereas unbiased verification of battlefield motion has been troublesome, Britain’s Protection Ministry stated in an intelligence report that a number of Ukrainian brigades had stepped up their artillery fireplace in front-line sectors throughout southern Ukraine.

The port city of Kherson, with a prewar inhabitants of about 300,000, is a crucial financial hub near the Black Sea and the primary main metropolis to fall to the Russians within the conflict that started six months in the past. The port stays on the coronary heart of Ukraine’s efforts to protect its important entry to the ocean, whereas Russia views it as a key level in a land hall extending from its border to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized in 2014.

Occupation forces have spoken of plans to carry a referendum on making the Kherson area part of Russia and have pressured residents to take Russian citizenship and cease utilizing Ukraine’s foreign money.

Ukraine’s presidential workplace reported that “highly effective explosions continued throughout the day and night time within the Kherson area. Robust battles are ongoing virtually throughout all” of the world. Ukrainian forces, the workplace stated, destroyed ammunition depots and all giant bridges throughout the Dnieper River important to supplying Russian troops.

The Ukrainian navy additionally reported destroying a pontoon bridge on the Dnieper that the Russian forces had been organising and hitting a dozen command posts with artillery fireplace.

Russian state information company Tass reported that explosions rocked Kherson on Tuesday morning — probably attributable to air protection programs.

Alluding to the speak of a serious counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated in his nightly video tackle on Monday that one “received’t hear specifics from any really accountable individual” about Kyiv’s intentions, “as a result of that is conflict.”

The British stated that the majority of Russia’s models round Kherson “are seemingly under-manned and are reliant upon fragile provide strains” whereas its forces there are present process a major reorganization.

Russian Protection Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov maintained that its forces stood up properly and that Ukraine misplaced lots of of troops, tanks and different armored autos in Monday’s motion. His declare couldn’t be independently verified.

Ukrainian unbiased navy analyst Oleh Zhdanov instructed The Related Press that “it will likely be potential to speak in regards to the effectiveness of Ukrainian actions solely after giant cities are retaken.” He added that Ukrainian forces had breached the primary and the second strains of protection within the Kherson area a number of instances prior to now, “nevertheless it didn’t result in outcomes.”

“Crucial factor is Ukrainian artillery’s work on the bridges, which the Russian navy can not use,” Zhdanov stated.

The conflict has floor to a stalemate over the previous months, with casualties and destruction rising and the inhabitants bearing the brunt of the struggling throughout relentless shelling within the east and south.

In different battlefield reviews, a minimum of 9 civilians had been killed in additional Russian shelling, Ukrainian officers stated, from the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv to the northeastern industrial hub of Kharkiv, the place 5 had been killed within the metropolis middle.

Amid fears that the combating across the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant may result in a disaster, a U.N. atomic power company workforce set out on a mission to examine and safeguard the complicated. Ukraine and Russia have accused one another of shelling the world time and again.

Nikopol, a metropolis simply throughout the Dnieper from the plant, once more got here below a barrage of heavy shelling, native authorities stated, with a bus station, shops and a kids’s library broken. And a Russian missile strike focused the town of Zaporizhzhia, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the plant, Ukraine stated.

—The first ship carrying grain from war-torn Ukraine for folks within the hungriest components of the world docked on the Horn of Africa port of Djibouti as lethal drought and battle grip East Africa. The grain goes to Ethiopia.

—European Union ministers debated methods to ramp up weapons production, increase navy coaching for Ukraine and inflict heavier prices on Russia.

—German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated his country is well prepared to sort out a potential power scarcity due to Russia’s squeeze on European fuel provides. Russia has minimize off or decreased the stream of pure fuel to a dozen EU international locations, elevating fears forward of winter.

Yuras Karmanau contributed to this report from Tallinn, Estonia.

Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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