Posted at a crossroads, about fifteen kilometers from the front, Oleksandr puffs on his cigarette while listening to the sounds of war. Russian guns rumble in the distance, then stop. Invisible gunners respond to them with a salvo of rockets. Then a scintillating rain falls for two minutes: the anti-aircraft defense has just intercepted a Russian missile in the sky. A Grad multiple rocket launcher truck passes through the Oleksandr checkpoint to change position. Ambulances take the wounded to Mykolaiv.
On August 29, the Ukrainian army launched its most ambitious counter-offensive since the outbreak of the Russian invasion on February 24. From the fronts east of Mykolaiv and south of Kryvyi Rih, the armed forces of kyiv attack in the direction of the Kherson region, the only Ukrainian regional capital to have been conquered by the army of Moscow, without significant combat , from the first week of the war.
The offensive towards Kherson comes after two months of relative pause on the Ukrainian battlefield. Admittedly, Russian missiles continue to strike Ukrainian towns regularly, certainly artillery duels are permanent along the front line, but neither side has undertaken a major attack since the Russian conquest, on July 3, of the city of Lysychansk, which marked the fall of the Luhansk pocket, in the eastern region of Donbass. The Russian offensive against the neighboring province of Donetsk remains very limited, with the current objective of the town of Bakhmout.
“Silence” asked of the media
No official military information was communicated on the first three days of operations. The army asked ” the silence “ Ukrainian media and ordered his units not to receive journalists, kept away from the front line. The army command for the southern region, located in Odessa, simply confirmed, through the voice of its spokesperson, Colonel Natalia Houmenyuk, the launch, “in many directions”of“a counter-offensive in the province of Kherson”. A local MP, Sergey Khlan, said: “This is the announcement we have been waiting for since spring: the beginning of the end of the occupation of the Kherson region. »
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky defended this lack of military information. “Anyone want to know what our plans are?” No, you will not know any details. It’s the war. » The President has simply, in his daily address, announced that “Ukraine is taking back what is hers and will take back everything: the regions of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Crimea, the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov”.
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