The head of Ukraine’s military administration in the southern region of Mykolaiv, just northwest of Kherson, called for civilian volunteers Tuesday as Ukrainian forces launch a long-awaited counter-offensive in the south.
Ukraine’s military announced Monday that it had launched several offensive operations on the front lines in areas surrounding the strategically important port city of Kherson, where Russia made advances early on in the war but which Kyiv has vowed to take back.
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“I appeal to volunteers,” Vitalii Kim said in a video translated by Pravda. “Contact the military, [find out] what they need.
“Get involved in the work again, because we will soon reclaim Kherson,” he said.
Heavy fighting is ongoing in the south and Fox News Digital could not independently verify if Ukrainian advances have yet been made.
The U.K. defense ministry said that as of Monday “several brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” had “increased” artillery fire along the front lines and that Ukrainian long-range “precision strikes continue to disrupt Russian resupply” efforts.
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Ukrainian troops began to show signs of gaining traction in the south after they destroyed two key bridges last month that were heavily relied on by Russian forces for resupply routes across the Dnieper River to strong points in the east.
Though the U.K. defense ministry also said that Russia has made “significant efforts” to reinforce its forces on the western bank of the Dnieper River by relying on pontoon ferry crossings, the briefing also said “most of the [Russian] units around Kherson are likely under-manned and are reliant upon fragile supply lines.”
Reports surfaced late last week that also suggested Russia was beefing up its military equipment in southern Ukraine by transporting a convoy of heavy miliary equipment to Crimea.
The Ukrainian military also claimed Monday to have struck a large Russian military base behind Russian lines in the Kherson region.
Russia has threatened to annex Kherson and said it plans to hold a referendum on the vote this fall.