Ukraine’s military said its artillery hit a Russian ammunition depot near a key bridge in the south on Friday and added it now had the ability to attack nearly all of Moscow’s supply lines in the occupied region.
The military said the attack killed 11 Russian soldiers in the depot in the village of Vesele, about 80 miles (130km) down the vast Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
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There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities on the report of the attack in Kherson province, or the purported reach of Ukraine’s firepower. Reuters could not confirm the reports independently.
Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, said Ukraine has nearly all of Russia’s southern supply routes under “fire control,” meaning that Ukraine is able to hit them with ranged weapons at will.
“Our forces are controlling the situation in the south, despite the enemy trying to bring in reserves even though almost all their transport and logistical arteries have been hit or are under our fire control,” she added in a national broadcast.
Vesele – which is near the Kakhovskyi bridge, just metres away from a large dam – is a vital crossing point that Ukraine has attacked to try to weaken Moscow’s grip on a sliver of land it occupies on the Dnieper’s western bank.
Ukraine says it has been able to hit dozens of Russian ammunition depots thanks to Western deliveries of long-range multiple-launch missile systems, such as US-supplied HIMARS.
Kyiv hopes that by acquiring new missiles capable of hitting Russian logistics deep behind the front lines, it can turn the tide of the conflict in the coming weeks.
Satellite pictures released on Thursday showed devastation at an airbase deep in Russian-annexed Crimea, hit on Tuesday in what appeared to be some form of attack, although Kyiv has not claimed responsibility or explained how it was carried out.
The base, on the southwest coast of Crimea, is beyond the range of advanced US rockets Ukraine has deployed since last month, but within the range of more powerful versions that Kyiv has requested from the West.