Ukraine HIMARS hits Russian bases in major counterattack

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Ukrainian forces hit a number of targets around the occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine on the night of August 2-3.

According to local media, several Russian weapon bases and warehouses were attacked in Kherson Oblast using US-provided HIMARS advanced multiple rocket launchers.

Ukrainian news site Obozrevatel reports that a Russian base was hit in Chornobivka, on the outskirts of occupied Kherson.

This was confirmed on Facebook by the Ukrainian military’s official “Operation Command South” page, which said the target had been hit by “rocket and artillery” fire.

Ukrainian troops fire an American-made M777 howitzer from their position on the frontline in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on August 1, 2022. Ukrainian forces have also used HIMARS (not pictured) to strike Russian targets.
SERGEY BOBOK/GETTY

Video posted on Telegram, which has not been independently verified by Newsweekwould show that the Russian base at Chorobaivka was under fire.

In another incident, Ukrainian forces said they hit an ammunition warehouse in Berislav, further up the Dnipro River from Kherson.

According to Obozrevatel, the target was successfully destroyed, with multiple secondary explosions as the stored ammunition detonated.

The Ukrainians also reported three strikes on Russian “strongholds” in the Berislavsky and Bashtansky districts, as well as another on an ammunition depot in the same area.

Ukrainian forces are preparing the ground for an operation to liberate Kherson, occupied by Russian troops in the early days of the war, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying they are progressing “step by step”.

Recapturing Kherson would help secure Odessa, Ukraine’s most important Black Sea port and an obvious Russian target.

If all of Kherson Oblast can be recaptured, it will break the land bridge between Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, and the two Russian-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine and Russia itself. -same.

On Monday, US National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby announced that Washington would provide Ukraine with more rockets for its HIMARS, as part of a new $550 million assistance package.

Ukraine used its US-provided HIMARS to hit Russian targets far behind the front line, such as munitions dumps and command centers.

According to retired US Army General Mark Hertling, this was a game-changer in its fight against the Russian invasion, leaving Kremlin forces “in a sorry state”.

Ukrainian forces hit three bridges over the Dnipro using HIMARS, making it harder for the Russians to reinforce their troops in Kherson.

These include the crucially important Antonovsky Bridge, which has been left “probably unusable”.

Russian forces in occupied parts of Kherson Oblast are also facing an insurgency by Ukrainian partisan fighters, with sabotage and assassination attempts against a number of local collaborators.

Speaking to the BBC, a supporter explained how his team tracks Russian troop movements and then relays details to the Ukrainian military for artillery strikes.

An official of the local administration installed by Russia was killed in a car bomb attack, while several others were injured.

Valery Kuleshov, a pro-Russian blogger, was shot and killed in Kherson in April in a suspected partisan attack.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comments.

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