Civilians evacuated to shelters as Ukraine attacks Russian-held town
The Russian-controlled city of Novaya Kakhovka in Ukraine’s Kherson Region is evacuating civilians due to constant artillery attacks by Kiev’s forces, the local administration reported on Monday.
“Over 24 hours, there were some ten rocket salvos, each including six or eight or more rockets. Many civilian objects were damaged by them,” including a city market and a driving school in the city center, the Kakhovka district’s head, Vladimir Leontyev, told the media.
He said Ukraine was using US-provided HIMARS rocket launchers to harass the city, which is located on the left bank of the Dnepr River and hosts a hydroelectric power plant. Ukrainian forces are stationed on the opposite side of the river.
A Ukrainian military spokesperson claimed on Monday that Kiev’s forces have launched an offensive in the south of the country, which includes Kherson Region, where Novaya Kakhovka is located.
Natalya Gumenyuk, who spoke on national TV on behalf of Ukraine’s southern command, declined to offer any details about the purported operation, only claiming that Kiev’s forces breached the “first line of defense” of the Russian forces.
Ukrainian officials have for months teased a looming offensive to retake the city of Kherson and push Russian forces back from Kherson Region. But earlier this month, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, explained that these types of promises should be considered part of information warfare against Russia.
“Certainly, all public comments are part of information warfare. We need to demoralize the Russian army,” he told the BBC in an interview.
Sergey Aksyonov, the head of Russia’s Crimean Republic, which borders Kherson Region, dismissed Gumenyuk’s words as “fake news, like the previous ones.” He suggested that the claim was made for Kiev’s “Western masters who need to be shown action.” In reality, Ukraine’s forces are suffering significant losses on the southern front, Aksyonov claimed.