30th August, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged Russian troops to flee for their lives as his forces launched an offensive near the city of Kherson.
He said Ukraine’s military were taking back their territory.
However, Russia claimed the assault had failed.
Ukraine’s offensive in the south comes after weeks of a stalemate in a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, destroyed cities and caused a global energy and food crisis amid unprecedented economic sanctions.
It has also fuelled worries of a radiation disaster being triggered by shelling of the south Ukraine Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where Russian authorities on Tuesday reported artillery strikes near a spent fuel storage building.
Zelenskiy, in his nightly address late on Monday, vowed that Ukrainian troops would chase the Russian army “to the border”.
“If they want to survive – it’s time for the Russian military to run away. Go home,” he said.
“Ukraine is taking back its own,” Zelenskiy said.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a senior adviser to Zelenskiy, commenting on the offensive in the Kherson region, said Russian defences had been “broken through in a few hours”.
Ukrainian forces were shelling ferries that Russia was using to supply a pocket of territory on the west bank of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region, he added.
Britain’s defence ministry said Ukrainian forces had increased their artillery fire across the south and their long-range precision strikes were disrupting Russian resupplies.
Ukraine’s Suspilne public broadcaster reported explosions in the Kherson area on Tuesday and city residents reported in social media posts gunfire and explosions but said it was not clear who was firing.
Ukraine’s military general staff, in an early Tuesday update, reported clashes in various parts of the country but gave no information on the Kherson offensive.
Russia’s defence ministry said Ukrainian troops had attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions but sustained significant casualties, RIA news agency reported.
The “enemy’s offensive attempt failed miserably”, it said.
But a Ukrainian barrage of rockets left the Russian-occupied town of Nova Kakhovka without water or power, officials at the Russian-appointed authority told RIA news agency.