Ukraine Begins Southern Offensive around Kherson

Recently, the government of Ukraine under President Vlodymr Zelensky announced that their long-anticipated Southern Counter Offensive against Russian forces around the Kherson area had “begun in full force.’ Ukrainian forces were reportedly shelling Russian positions around Kherson and Chernihiv early yesterday morning, as they attempted to soften up Russian defensives around those specific regions before they began a frontal assault against Russian trenches. Russian forces reportedly retreated from several key regions, with their first lines of defense almost entirely broken. However, it has been noticed by some independent observers that the Ukrainian offensive has failed in some regions of the country. Regardless, the Ukrainian government claimed that on August 31, it had captured over 44 “small villages” around the Kherson area, and in other areas, it was reported that infantry had achieved “major breakthroughs” throughout the entire frontline with Russia. 

Ukrainian artillery in action, shelling Russian positions (STRINGERS/Reuters)

The counteroffensive proceeded with large artillery strikes on Russian supply zones and major bridges in occupied regions of Southern Ukraine, the most notable strikes being on the Antonovsky Bridge, with newly acquired Ukrainian HIMARS rocket systems which were delivered by the United States. Ukraine now has the ability to utilize long-range, high-precision missile batteries. This means that many regions of occupied Ukraine and Crimea are now in range of those missiles. This has been noticed by Russia, which has responded by increasing air defense around the Crimean peninsula and the famous Crimean bridge, which is the only land connection to Crimea from mainland Russia (besides occupied Mariupol). Russian forces have been stuck in a months-long stagnant trench war after Ukraine stalled a Russian offensive on Kyiv in March, which meant Ukraine could focus its resources on the southern front, where Ukraine had been pushed almost all the way out and to the Dnieper River. Ukrainian forces into the middle of their first week of the offensive have made gains around Kherson, however the push seems to be slowing down as of time of writing. More reporting will be done on this event in the future.

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