Ukrainians seek to retake Kherson, EU ramps up fight against Russia
Vladimir, 66, stands next to the wreckage of his house after being bombed by Russians in Chernihiv, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. | AP

Ukraine said its forces were advancing on Russian-occupied Kherson in the south today as EU ministers pledged to ramp up arms production to keep fighting the war.

Ukraine’s presidential office said that “tough battles are ongoing practically across all of the strategic area” around Kherson, a major Black Sea port close to Crimea.

It claimed to have destroyed ammunition depots and bridges over the Dnieper crucial to Russia supplying its troops.

“The most important thing is Ukrainian artillery work on the bridges, which the Russian military can no longer use,” Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said. “The Russians can’t sustain forces near Kherson.”

Russian authorities confirmed a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the area but said it was making no progress and suffering heavy losses.

Mr Zhdanov said that if Ukrainian claims to have breached Russia’s “first line of defence” were true there were still two further lines of defense around Kherson.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused to be drawn on whether a major offensive to reclaim Kherson was underway, saying no “truly responsible person” would divulge specifics in wartime.

The city has been occupied since March, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine from the east through Donetsk and Lugansk, from the south from Crimea and from the north from Belarus. The northern assault, which targeted Kiev, was abandoned months ago but the other two fronts have seen fierce fighting ever since.

Though it is not part of the eastern Donetsk or Lugansk regions Moscow said it began the war to protect, Russian-installed authorities in Kherson have said they will hold a referendum on unification with the Russian Federation.

In Prague, EU defense and foreign ministers met to discuss how the bloc could help Ukraine keep up its war effort.

Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, chairing the talks, said EU countries needed to prioritize increased arms production despite soaring energy prices causing a continent-wide cost-of-living crisis.

“We are depleting our stocks,” he said, referring to the huge weapons shipments to Ukraine. “We have to refill.”

The meeting was also due to discuss requests from the Baltic states to ban Russian citizens from visiting EU countries.


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.