Ukraine Reports Long List of Russian Weapons Destroyed Amid Push to Kherson

Ukrainian forces have begun an advance toward the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital to be overtaken by Russians since the invasion began on February 24.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Operational Command South, said Monday that Ukraine's armed forces launched an offensive "in many directions in the south of Ukraine," as the "tense" situation reported by the Kyiv Independent has been controlled by Ukrainian soldiers while Russians refrain from attacking following successful Ukrainian counter-aggression.

Ukrainian officials previously pushed U.S. officials for more help in targeting Russian supply chains that have aided its occupation of Kherson, Foreign Policy reported on August 10. Sasha Ustinova, a Ukrainian member of parliament, said then that the focus involved "a counterattack in the south to get Kherson back and to keep Mykolaiv."

In an August 28 Facebook post, Ukraine's Operational Command South (OCS) said that "the situation in the operational zone" in Ukraine's southern region "is difficult but controlled," adding that Russians continue "to conduct hostilities along the occupied defense line."

Kherson Ukraine Russia Liberation Counterattack
The destroyed Fabrika shopping mall in Kherson, southern Ukraine, on July 20, 2022. Ukrainian forces are increasing a counterattack against Russian forces to reclaim Kherson. Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

The command unit reported that on Sunday, Mykolaiv, which is under Ukrainian control, was struck twice by Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems, causing a fire on local infrastructure but no casualties. Later that evening, Mykolaiv's industrial infrastructure was hit by a "hurricane" (a Russian-made BM-27 Uragan multiple-launch rocket system) that resulted in no casualties or "significant destruction."

Ukrainian air forces said they had eight successful strikes on Russian "strongholds and accumulations of enemy manpower, weapons and equipment" in the Novovoznesenskyi, Blagodativka, Novopetrovka, Lyubomirivka, Ivanovka and Vavilovo areas.

In addition to 41 Russian troops being killed, OCS said that damage to numerous Russian artillery including two drones, one T-72 tank, an Uragan multiple rocket launcher, a Pantsir missile system, a NONA self-propelled mortar system, one electronic warfare station and six armored vehicles. The Ukrainian army also struck eight strongholds and concentrations of Russian equipment and personnel, OCS said.

"The threat of missile strikes, sabotage measures and demonstrations, as well as artillery shelling, in areas geographically within reach of the enemy's means of destruction, remains relevant," OCS said.

In an August 29 Facebook post, Ukraine's Kakhovka Operational Group reported that the 109th Regiment of the Russian-occupied forces "withdrew from their positions in Kherson region; Russian paratroopers who supported them escaped from the battlefield."

"The situation in the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson region is extremely difficult," another Facebook post on Monday said, adding that HIMARS destroyed almost all major bridges, including the Antonovsky and Novokahovsky, leaving only pedestrian crossings.

"The Russian army turned out to be cut off from the supply of arms and personnel from the territory of Crimea," the post added. "This is a brilliant chance for Ukraine to regain its territories."

Newsweek could not independently confirm any of the statements made by the Ukrainian military units.

George Barros, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told Newsweek that "we're currently in the condition-setting phase of the counteroffensive," as Ukraine is targeting Russian forces in a "coherent operation" focused at regaining control of the Dnieper River's west bank.

Newsweek spoke with a female refugee who escaped the Kherson Oblast to Kyiv with her grandmother while her father remained in the new epicenter of the war and has very limited communication due to Russian restrictions.

"Lack of work, constant terror from invaders, kidnapping, Russians can just break into your house and do whatever they want—these are all the realities of the occupation now," said the refugee, who goes by the name Alexandra.

Newsweek reached out to the defense ministries for Ukraine and Russia for comment.