More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed, while seven tanks and two ammunition dumps were destroyed during the fighting in the Kherson region – a key link in Moscow’s supply lines – which is in the focus of the Ukrainian military’s counter-offensive in the south and a key link in Moscow’s supply lines.
Kyiv military’s southern command said on Saturday that it has also cut rail traffic to Kherson over the Dnipro River aiming to further isolate Russian forces – situated west and east of the river – from supplies in occupied Crimea.
In the last few weeks, Kyiv forces badly damaged three bridges across the Dnipro using Western-supplied long-range missile systems and managed to cut off Kherson city, leaving highly vulnerable Russian troops of the 49th Army stationed on the west bank of the river.
As a result of that part of the offensive, traffic over the rail bridge crossing the Dnipro is not possible, said Ukraine’s southern command which is trying to establish control over the occupied territory’s main transport links.
Dmytro Butriy, the pro-Ukrainian governor of the Kherson region, said that the Berislav district, which is situated across the river northwest of the hydroelectric powerplant Kakhovka, was particularly hard hit.
He said that some villages are completely destroyed without a single home left intact, and all infrastructure has been destroyed, so people are forced to live in cellars.
Meanwhile, forty Ukrainian POWs were killed and 75 were wounded in a missile strike on Friday at the prison in the frontline town of Olenivka held by Moscow-backed separatists.
Reuters journalists at the prison have confirmed some of the deaths.
While Russia’s defense ministry and the spokesperson for the separatists, who put the death toll at 53, are accusing Kyiv of targeting the prison with US-made HIMARS rockets, Ukraine’s army denied responsibility blaming Moscow of targeted the prison to hide the POWs’ mistreatment.