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Ukraine war

Ukraine says long-anticipated southern offensive has begun

Ukraine says long-anticipated southern offensive has begun
Volunteers in the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion during an exercise at an undisclosed location in the Kyiv area, Ukraine, 27 August 2022. The battalion is made up mostly of Chechen volunteers who had fought in the two Chechen wars, and has joined defending Ukraine's side against the Russian invasion. EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK

KYIV, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Ukraine has started a long-awaited counter-offensive in the country's south, its southern military command said on Monday.

“Today we started offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region,” Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne cited southern command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk as saying. She confirmed the news minutes later at a briefing.

Ukraine has been talking up a planned counter-offensive in its Russian-occupied southern regions for two months.

Humeniuk said that Ukraine’s recent strikes on Russia’s southern logistical routes had “unquestionably weakened the enemy,” adding that more than 10 Russian ammunition dumps had been hit over the last week.

However, she declined to be drawn into giving more details about the new offensive.

“Any military operation needs silence,” she said, adding that Russia’s forces in the south are “rather powerful” and have been built up over a long time.

(Reporting by Max Hunder, Editing by William Maclean)

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