Sunday, October 23, 2022

Russian, Ukrainian Troops Gird for Major Battle in Kherson; Ukraine Strikes Occupied Kherson as More Civilians Flee; Ukrainian Forces Bombard River Crossing; Kherson a Fortress; Iran Troops move into Ukraine to Help Russia with Kamikaze Drones, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Russian, Ukrainian troops gird for major battle in Kherson:
Russian and Ukrainian troops appeared Thursday to be girding for a major battle over the strategic southern industrial port city of Kherson, in a region which Russian President Vladimir Putin has illegally annexed and subjected to martial law.
Fighting and evacuations were reported in the Kherson region as Moscow tried to pound the invaded country into submission with more missile and drone attacks on critical infrastructure.
Putin declared martial law in the Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions on Wednesday in an attempt to assert Russian authority in the annexed areas as he faced battlefield setbacks, a troubled troop mobilization, increasing criticism at home and abroad, and international sanctions.
The unsettled status of the illegally absorbed territory was especially visible in the Kherson region’s capital, where Russian military officials have replaced Kremlin-installed civilian leaders as part of martial law that took effect Thursday to defend against a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Kherson city, with a prewar population of about 284,000, was one of the first urban areas Russia captured when it invaded Ukraine, and it remains the largest city it holds. It is a prime target for both sides because of its key industries and major river port. Reports of sabotage and assassinations of Russian-installed officials in Kherson have surfaced for months, in what appeared to be one of the most active Ukrainian resistance movements in occupied territory. --->READ MORE HERE
PHOTO: Associated Press
WSJ: Ukraine Strikes Occupied Kherson as More Civilians Flee:
Ukrainian artillery struck the ferry crossing in the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital captured by Moscow since the February invasion, as Russian forces pounded the cities of Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv with renewed strikes.
The Russian military had set up ferry crossings after repeated Ukrainian strikes on the Antonivsky bridge, a crucial link with other occupied areas that Russia used to resupply forces in Kherson, made it unusable. The only alternative bridge, over the sluices of the Nova Kakhovka dam upstream, has also been destroyed. That has significantly complicated the logistics of Russian forces in the Kherson area, the only part of Ukraine that they occupy west of the Dnipro River.
Ukrainian offensives in September and early this month regained a significant part of that foothold, prompting Russia to organize the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians in recent days.
The port city of Kherson is one of the most important prizes in Ukraine’s fight to reclaim territory occupied by Russia. If Russia’s military is forced to abandon the city, it would be a significant blow to the Kremlin, removing for the foreseeable future Russia’s ability to threaten Mykolaiv, Odessa and the rest of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.
The flat, empty terrain around Kherson makes it a different target for an outright assault. Russia on Friday released footage of what it said was a failed Ukrainian offensive in the area two days earlier, in which several Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles and at least one tank had been destroyed. Ukraine has imposed an information blackout on its military operations near Kherson.
Russia has sent some 2,000 newly mobilized troops, most of whom underwent only minimal training, to try to hold on to Kherson, Ukraine’s General Staff said Friday. At the same time, it added, Russia has started to evacuate financial institutions and withdraw medical and education workers who had been sent to the city. Ukrainian officials have said Russia might be trying to use mobilized troops it sees as more dispensable to cover the retreat of elite units that it wants to redeploy on other fronts. --->READ MORE HERE
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