A Ukrainian official said on Sunday that the country’s southern region of Kherson, which fell to Russian troops in early February, would be recaptured by Kyiv’s forces by September.
“We can say that the Kherson region will certainly be liberated by September, and all the plans of the occupiers will fail,” Sergei Khlan, an aide to the head of the Kherson region, said in an interview with Ukrainian television.
Encouraged by Western supplied long-range artillery deliveries, Ukrainian forces have been entering the region back into the southern Kherson region in recent weeks.
“We can say that a turning point has come on the battlefield. We see that the armed forces of Ukraine prevail in their most recent military operations,” Khalan said.
“We see that our armed forces are moving freely. We can say that we are moving from defensive to retaliatory,” he said.
He said Ukraine’s attacks on two major bridges in the region, as well as attacks on Russian weapons depots and command posts, were part of preparatory work for the ground attack.
“Now the main issue seems to be more precise artillery strikes on the front lines to drive out the orcs (Russians) from their current positions.”
He said that the Russian army had not repaired the damaged Antonivka bridge and that it was facing difficulties as a result of moving heavy weapons towards the city of Kherson.
The Russian army captured the region’s main city, also known as Kherson, on March 3. It was the first major city to fall since the start of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine in late February.
The region, important to Ukrainian agriculture, is located next to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
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