Ukrainian counter-offensive advances in the south

Ukrainian counteroffensive advances in the south

MISE À DAY

Russian occupation authorities in southern Ukraine on Tuesday called for “not to panic” even as Russian forces retreated in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson region.  

Since early September, Ukrainian forces have already inflicted a series of crushing setbacks on the Russians in the northeast and east of the country.

The head of the Russian occupation in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, was the first to admit a Ukrainian “breakthrough” and in particular the loss of the village of Dudtchany, before assuring that the Russian air force had “stopped” the Ukrainian advance, according to an interview Monday afternoon published Tuesday on the person's Telegram page.

“The advance of the Ukrainian-Nazis in the Dudtchany area has been stopped (…) we must not panic”, then hammered one of his deputies, Kirill Stremoussov, in a video broadcast Tuesday on his Telegram channel .

“We hear explosions in the distance but it's not that often,” he said from the city of Kherson.

The Russian Telegram channel Rybar, who follows the movements of the Russian forces, noted that the Ukrainians were progressing in the areas of Arkhangelské and Dudtchany in order to “cut off the supplies of the Russian group on the right bank of the Dnipro”.

According to Western and Ukrainian estimates, some 20,000 Russian troops are stationed in this area.

Ukrainian forces have concentrated fire in recent weeks on Russian positions and warehouses on the right bank of the Dnipro as well as the bridges spanning this river in order to cut the Russian supply lines.

Watermelon

Kyiv still remains silent on its advances in the south of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confined himself to saying in his address on Monday evening that “new localities have been liberated in several regions”.

“More and more occupiers are trying to flee, more and more losses are being inflicted on the enemy army,” he said.

In addition, for several days, videos of Ukrainian soldiers raising their flags in villages in the north of Kherson region have multiplied online.

The chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency, Andriï Yermak, posted an emoticon message on Telegram showing Ukrainian flags and a watermelon, a fruit of which the Kherson region is a major producer.

The troops early in the invasion of Ukraine seized Kherson on the Dnipro River, the only regional capital they have so far managed to conquer.

After a series of crushing defeats in northern and eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin's Russia decided to annex Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhya, four Ukrainian regions that it controls at least in part, and decreed a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists.

But two days after the annexation ceremony, President Zelensky announced the takeover of Lyman, a strategic railway hub in eastern Ukraine, inflicting a new snub in Moscow.

The mobilization of reservists in Russia has also been chaotic, with the army coming under fire for calling up many reservists who should have been exempted for health or family reasons.

Leak in Russian front

Nevertheless, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was pleased that since the mobilization order of September 21, more than 200,000 people had joined the army.

“The training of the personnel of the (newly) formed units is carried out on 80 military fields and at six training centers,” he added.

The prospect of being sent to the front, however, also caused an exodus of tens of thousands of Russians, who left the country, particularly to its Georgian, Kazakh, Mongolian and Finnish neighbours.

Ukrainian counteroffensive advances in the South

Ukrainian counteroffensive advances in the South

Vladimir Putin has, he has sworn to defend the territories he has annexed, even threatening to use nuclear weapons and calling on Ukraine to stop fighting.

Mr. Zelensky replied on Friday by proclaiming that he “will not negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is president”.

For their part, Westerners have sworn that they will continue to support Kyiv, in particular sending modern weapons and ammunition that have done great harm to the Russian forces.

France denounced Vladimir Putin's “leak forward” again on Monday.