Fighting raged in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region on Tuesday, with the Kyiv government claiming it destroyed bridges and ammunition depots, while Russia said it repelled the attacks and killed large numbers of Ukrainian troops.
Britain’s defense ministry said several Ukrainian brigades had increased their artillery fire on the front lines across southern Ukraine.
“Powerful explosions continued during the day and night in the Kherson region,” Ukraine’s presidential office reported. “Tough battles are ongoing practically across all” of the area, with Ukrainian forces targeting ammunition depots and all large bridges across the Dnieper River that Russia uses to supply its troops in the region.
Tass, the Russian state news agency, reported that explosions rocked Kherson on Tuesday morning — most likely caused by air defense systems it deployed against Ukrainian missiles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told his people in his nightly video address on Monday that one “won’t hear specifics from any truly responsible person” about Kyiv’s intentions, “because this is war.”
Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian forces would chase Russia’s forces “to the border.”
“If they want to survive — it’s time for the Russian military to run away. Go home,” he said.
The British report said that most of Russia’s units around Kherson “are likely under-manned and are reliant upon fragile supply lines.”
The Russian defense ministry contended that its forces were holding their own and that Ukraine lost hundreds of troops, tanks and other armored vehicles in Monday’s action. Its claim could not be independently verified.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy met with top United Nations nuclear inspectors in Kyiv ahead of their visit to inspect the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant that is operated by Ukrainian engineers. Both Russia and Ukraine allege the other has continued to shell territory near the facility, with world leaders expressing fears that a nuclear disaster is possible.
“This is probably one of the top priority questions regarding safety of Ukraine and the world today,” Zelenskyy said, calling for the “immediate demilitarization of the plant” and its transfer to “full Ukrainian control.”
Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.