Ukraine announced on Tuesday July 12 that it had struck Russian forces overnight in the occupied region of Kherson, in the south of the country, the Russian occupation authorities accusing it of having hit houses. Kyiv also claimed to have released five Ukrainians after “ a special operation ” In the region.
Five Ukrainians, who were held captive by Russian troops in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, were freed thanks to a ” special operation from Ukrainian military intelligence, kyiv announced on Tuesday.
“ During a special operation […] in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson region, five Ukrainian citizens held captive by the Russian occupiers were released “Said the Ukrainian military intelligence service (GUR) in a press release, specifying that there is among them a soldier and a former policeman.
Bordering the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, the Kherson region is largely occupied by Russian forces as part of the invasion launched on February 24. The Ukrainian army has been carrying out a counter-offensive there for several weeks while the bulk of Russian troops are deployed in the Donbass, in the east of the country.
An ammunition warehouse targeted
According to Ukrainian military officials responsible for the south of the country, a strike that took place overnight from Monday to Tuesday killed 52 Russian soldiers and destroyed “ a warehouse with ammunition in Nova Kakhovka, about 70 km from the large city of Kherson, which has a population of 290,000.
[ 🇷🇺 RUSSIE | 🇺🇦 UKRAINE ]
🔸Ukrainian Army shelling of facilities at Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson region using American-made MLRS HIMARS. pic.twitter.com/SS9qadQQ84
— (Little) Think Tank (@L_ThinkTank) July 11, 2022
For his part, the head of the military-civilian administration installed in this locality by the Russian forces, Vladimir Leontiev, denounced a ” act of terrorism ” and ” a terrible tragedy “, claiming on Telegram:” There are no military targets here. »
“ There are already seven dead and around 60 injured “, he said, assuring that “ the number will increase, because the scale of the damage is enormous “. ” Dozens of homes were affected “, he added, as well as warehouses, shops, a pharmacy, gas stations “ and even a church “. According to him, ” it is clear that this is a deliberate, violent, cynical attack with high-precision missiles “.
Destroyed buildings and fireball
Ekaterina Goubareva, a deputy leader of the Kherson region occupation administration also reported seven dead and accused Ukrainian forces of using US Himars multiple rocket launchers. It was not immediately possible to independently verify these claims.
In a video broadcast by Russian media, we see a huge ball of fire and sheaves projected towards the sky in the middle of the night, while powerful detonations sound and a thick column of white smoke rises. On other images taken in the morning and released by the occupation authorities, we see several destroyed buildings.
A new offensive expected in the Donbass
In the east of the country, where the Russian bombardments continue, Ukraine expects a new Russian offensive in the Donetsk region, located in the Donbass, a mining basin partially controlled since 2014 by separatists supported by Moscow. “ There are signs that enemy units are preparing to intensify combat operations towards Kramatorsk and Bakhmut “warned the Ukrainian general staff.
Kramatorsk, the administrative center of Donbass still under Ukrainian control, and its neighbor Sloviansk are considered to be the next targets of the Russian military in their plan to completely conquer Donbass, four and a half months after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
The embassy of the separatist region of Donetsk will be inaugurated on Tuesday in Moscow, in the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Monday, Russia announced to facilitate access to Russian nationality for all Ukrainiansextending a measure that until now applied to the Ukrainian territories it occupies.
Hundreds of Iranian drones
The death toll from the bombing attributed to Russia on Sunday of an apartment building in Chassiv Iar, in the Donetsk region, continued to rise as rescue operations continue, rising to at least 34 dead, according to the local authorities.
In Kharkiv, in the northeast, six civilians were killed Monday by a Russian strike, according to Governor Oleg Synegoubov.
Confronted, according to Washington, with problems in maintaining its armament, Russia should receive, for its part, “ hundreds of drones delivered by Iran. ” Our intelligence indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to deliver up to several hundred drones, including combat aircraft, to Russia in a very short time. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday. Drones have played an important role since the beginning of the war for reconnaissance operations, missile firings or bomb drops.
At the same time, Europe has entered a period of uncertainty over the continuation of gas deliveries by Russia, the Russian giant Gazprom having started maintenance work on Monday on the two Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines which supply Germany and other western European countries.
This stop for ten days was in theory to be only a technical formality. But with the war in Ukraine and the showdown between Moscow and the West over energy, no one can bet on the restoration of deliveries, which have already been greatly reduced.
In order not to give Moscow any additional pretext, Germany obtained from Canada the return of turbines of the gas pipeline, under maintenance on a Canadian site of the German group Siemens. This gesture aroused the ire of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, who announced the summons of the Canadian ambassador to kyiv ” because of an absolutely unacceptable exception to the sanctions regime against Russia “.