Kherson: ‘Heavy fighting’ as Ukraine seeks to retake Russian-held region

Source: BBC

Reuters – Image caption, A Ukrainian soldier fires a machine gun (file photo)

Fierce battles have been reported as Ukraine tries to retake the Russian-occupied southern Kherson region – but military experts have told the BBC it “won’t happen quickly”.

“Heavy fighting is continuing, our soldiers are working around the clock,” said Vitaliy Kim, who heads the neighbouring Mykolaiv region.

Ukraine earlier said it had broken through Russia’s first line of defence.

But Russia said Ukrainian troops had been defeated during a failed attack.

The defence ministry in Moscow also said there had been heavy casualties among the Ukrainian forces, but the claims by both Ukraine and Russia have not been independently verified.

Kherson became the first major Ukrainian city to fall into Russian hands in the opening days of Moscow’s invasion that began on 24 February.

Top Ukrainian military officials have been tight-lipped about giving too many details about its reported counter-offensive, urging the wider public to be patient.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Operational Command “South” reported that “positional battles” continued.

It said three key bridges across the Dnipro River had been hit again to make sure they were impassable. In recent weeks, Ukraine has also been using US-supplied Himars precision rocket systems to target makeshift Russian pontoon bridges, as well as command posts and ammunition depots.

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