Breaking News, Russian and Ukrainian Troops Prepare for the Great Battle of Kherson

Breaking News, Russian and Ukrainian Troops Prepare for the Great Battle of Kherson
Russian and Ukrainian Troops Prepare for the Great Battle of Kherson

Kherson - Russian and Ukrainian troops appear preparing for a major battle in the strategic southern industrial port city of Kherson, territory illegally annexed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and subject to martial law. Quoted from the AP, Friday (10/21/2022), fighting and evacuations were reported in the Kherson region as Moscow tried to strike the invaded country into submission with more missile and drone attacks on critical infrastructure.

The office of President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian forces carried out 15 attacks on Russian military strongholds in the Kherson region. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Russia's Defense Ministry said Kremlin forces were fending off Ukrainian attempts to advance with tanks in the villages of Sukhanove, Nova Kamianka and Chervonyi Yar.

A Russian official in the region, Vladimir Leontyev, said Ukrainian forces had launched five missile strikes against the Kakhovka dam and a hydroelectric plant about 70 km from the city of Kherson. He said on Russian TV that if the facility were to be destroyed, the important canal that provided water to annexed Crimea would be cut off.

Zelenskyy countered that Russia had attacked the dam and power plant, with plans to blow them up in what he called an act of terrorism to release 18 million cubic meters of water and flood Kherson and tens of areas where hundreds of thousands of people live. He told the European Council that Russia would then blame Ukraine. Neither of these claims can be independently verified.

Russia's new military commander in Ukraine this week acknowledged the threat posed by a Ukrainian retaliatory attack on Kherson, and the British Ministry of Defense interpreted: "Russian authorities are seriously considering a major withdrawal of their troops from areas west of the Dnieper River."

The city of Kherson, with a prewar population of around 284,000, was one of the first urban areas that Russia captured when it invaded Ukraine, and remains the largest city it has. The city is a prime target for both sides because of its main industry and major river port.

Reports of the sabotage and killing of Russian officials in Kherson have emerged for months, which appears to be one of the most active Ukrainian resistance movements in the occupied territories. Putin himself declared martial law in the Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions on Wednesday in a bid to assert Russia's authority in the annexed areas as he faces battlefield setbacks, troubled troop mobilization, growing criticism at home and abroad, and international sanctions.

Along with that, Russian officials have urged residents to evacuate for their safety and allowed the military to build fortifications. Officials say 15,000 residents out of an estimated 60,000 are thought to have been displaced from the city and surrounding areas.

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