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Russian-occupied Kherson cut off as Ukraine counter-attacks: report

A Ukrainian counter-offensive has virtually cut off the Russian-occupied southern city of Kherson and left thousands of Russian troops stationed near the Dnipro River “highly vulnerable”, a British defence and intelligence officials reported on Thursday.

Ukraine has made clear it intends to recapture Kherson, which fell to Russia in the early days of the invasion that began on February 24.

Britain’s Defence Ministry said Ukrainian forces have probably established a bridgehead south of the Ingulets River, and had used new, long-range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges crossing the Dnipro.

Russia’s 49th Army, stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River, now looks highly vulnerable,” it said in a regular intelligence bulletin on Twitter, adding that Kherson was virtually cut off from the other territories occupied by Russia.

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 28 July 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response:

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— Ministry of Defence ?? (@DefenceHQ) July 28, 2022
“Its loss would severely undermine Russia’s attempts to paint the occupation as a success,” the Ministry wrote.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, earlier tweeted that Russia was concentrating “the maximum number of troops” in the direction of the Kherson but gave no details.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the aggressor was conducting a “massive redeployment” of forces from the east to the south in what amounted to a strategic shift from attack to defence.

Russia ‘only able to sustain 2 operations’

As the US-based Institute of the Study of War wrote in its daily report on Wednesday, “Russian forces appear able to sustain only two significant offensive operations in Ukraine at this time, one attempting to seize Siversk and the other advancing on Bakhmut.”

“These operations have focused on advances in the Siversk, Donetsk Oblast, direction from Verkhnokamianka and Bilohorivka and in the Bakhmut direction from the areas of Novoluhanske and the Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant since the end of the operational pause on July 16,” it added.

As the Institute’s experts assessed, “Russian forces have committed enough resources to conduct near-daily ground assaults and to seize territory on these two axes but have been unable to sustain a similar offensive operational tempo or to make similar territorial gains elsewhere in Ukraine.”

“The Russian offensive, therefore, remains likely to culminate before seizing any other major urban areas in Ukraine,” they concluded.

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