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Ukraine claims numerous Russians were killed in fighting in Kherson

The Kherson region, the focal point of Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the south and a crucial link in Moscow’s supply lines, saw heavy battle on Saturday, according to the Ukrainian military, which claimed to have killed dozens of Russian soldiers and destroyed two ammo dumps.


The military’s southern command reported that rail service to Kherson over the Dnipro River had been halted, potentially further cutting off Russian forces west of the river from supplies in the annexed Crimea and the east.


In recent weeks, Ukraine has severely damaged three Dnipro bridges with long-range missile systems supplied by the West, cutting off Kherson and, in the opinion of British defence officials, leaving Russia’s 49th Army stationed on the river’s west bank extremely exposed.


According to a statement from Ukraine’s southern command, travel over the rail bridge crossing the Dnipro is not possible because of fire taking control of the main transportation routes in the occupied zone.


In combat on Friday in the Kherson region, the first significant town the Russians had taken control of since their invasion on February 24, it was reported that more than 100 Russian soldiers and seven tanks had been destroyed.


Residents were warned to avoid Russian ammo dumps by Yuri Sobolevsky, the first deputy head of the Kherson regional council.


Sobolevsky posted on the Telegram app, ‘The Ukrainian army is pouring it on on the Russians and this is merely the beginning.’


Dmytro Butriy, the pro-Ukrainian governor of the Kherson area, claimed Berislav district had been particularly heavily struck. Northwest of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant is the town of Berislav.


Butriy said on Telegram that ‘in some communities, not a single home has been left undamaged, all infrastructure has been destroyed, and people are living in cellars.’


The reports could not be independently confirmed by Reuters. Earlier this week, representatives of the Russian-appointed government in charge of the Kherson region denied the assessments of the situation made by the West and Ukraine.


In order to make up for bridges destroyed by Ukrainian strikes, Russia likely built two pontoon bridges and a ferry system, according to the British Ministry of Defence on Saturday.


It also said that Russian-installed officials in occupied southern Ukraine were ‘likely coercing the public into providing personal details in order to assemble voter registers’ ahead of referendums on joining Russia later this year.


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