Ukraine counteroffensive into Kherson

Ukraine says fresh southern offensive is breaking through Russian defences

Ukraine says fresh southern offensive is breaking through Russian defences
Ukrainian servicemen and family members during a funeral ceremony of three Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting with Russian forces, in Lviv, Ukraine, 09 March 2022. A memorial ceremony was held for three soldiers: Dmytro Kotenko, Kyrylo Moroz and Vasyl Vyshyvanyi, who were killed near the city of Kherson during Russia's aggression in Ukraine. EPA-EFE/MYKOLA TYS

MYKOLAIV, Ukraine/KYIV, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Ukraine said it broke through enemy lines in several places near the southern city of Kherson as it pressed a new campaign to retake territory while Moscow said Kyiv's counter-offensive had failed as Russia shelled the port city of Mykolaiv.

  • Russia says Ukraine suffered significant casualties
  • Ukraine shelling knocks out power in Russian-held town- RIA
  • IAEA mission hopes to defuse nuclear plant tensions

By Andrea Shalal and Max Hunder

Kyiv’s move came after several weeks of relative stalemate in a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, destroyed cities and caused a global energy and food crisis amid unprecedented economic sanctions.

“I should note today the (Russian) defences were broken through in a few hours,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukrainian forces were shelling the ferries that Moscow is using to supply a pocket of Russian-occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region, he added.

Russia’s defence ministry said earlier on Monday that 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 local authority told RIA news agency.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

Fresh Russian shelling of Mykolaiv, which has remained in Ukrainian hands despite repeated Russian bombardments during the war, killed at least two people, injured some 24 others and wiped out homes, city officials and witnesses said on Monday.

A Reuters correspondent reported a strike hit a family home directly next to a school, killing one woman. Read full story

The owner of the property, Olexandr Shulga, said he had lived there his entire life and that his wife died when she was buried in debris.

“It hit and the shockwave came. It destroyed everything,” he told Reuters.

The conflict, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, had largely settled into a war of attrition, mainly in the south and east, marked by artillery bombardments and air strikes. Russia captured swathes of the south early on.

Ukraine’s southern command said on Monday its troops had started offensive actions in several directions in the south, including in the Kherson region which lies north of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine had struck more than 10 sites in the past week and “unquestionably weakened the enemy”, according to a spokeswoman who declined to give details of the offensive, saying Russian forces in the south remained “quite powerful”.



More than six months into the invasion, Ukraine has been using sophisticated Western-supplied weapons to hit Russian ammunition dumps and wreak havoc with supply lines.

Russia says it is waging a “special military operation” in Ukraine to rid it of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and the West describe Russia’s actions as an unprovoked war of aggression.

The world is scrambling to avoid a disaster at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, where both sides have traded accusations of shelling in its vicinity.

A mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the facility, captured by Russian forces in March but still run by Ukrainian staff, was due to arrive in Kyiv on Monday and start work in the coming days, Ukraine said.

Led by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, the mission will assess physical damage, evaluate working conditions and check safety and security systems, the Vienna-based organisation said.

It will also “perform urgent safeguards activities”, a reference to keeping track of nuclear material.

The Kremlin said the IAEA mission was “necessary” and urged the international community to pressure Ukraine to reduce military tensions at the plant. The mission must do its work in a politically neutral manner, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

The United Nations, United States and Ukraine have called for the withdrawal of military equipment and personnel from the complex to ensure it is not a target. Read full storyRead full story

“We continue to believe that a controlled shutdown of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactors would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,” said White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

But the Kremlin again ruled out vacating the site.

Liliia Vaulina, 22, one of a number of civilians who had fled Enerhodar for the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia, some 50 km (30 miles) upriver from the plant, said she hoped the IAEA mission would lead to a demilitarisation of its area.

“I think that they will stop the bombing,” she told Reuters.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options