Ukraine bombs Russian forces in the south, missiles hit near Kyiv

  • Ukraine tries to disrupt supply lines and bomb bridges
  • Target Russian forces with airstrikes
  • Russia strikes Kyiv region for first time in weeks
  • ‘Critical’ details being worked out for grain shipments -UN

KYIV, July 29 (Reuters) – Ukraine stepped up its counterattacks on Russian forces in the south as Moscow shelled the outskirts of Kyiv for the first time in weeks amid Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II. world went on endlessly.

Fifteen people were injured on Thursday when missiles hit military installations in the Vyshhorod district on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv Regional Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram.

Air raid sirens sounded as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed parliament alongside visiting Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, as Ukraine marked its Ukrainian State Day with a public holiday for the first time Thursday.

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“It doesn’t matter what Russia threatens us with; whether it’s air raid sirens or whatever, what’s important is that we make other countries fall in love with our Ukrainian steadfastness,” Zelenskiy said.

The attack shattered the sense of normalcy that has come alive in Kyiv since Russian forces abandoned attempts to capture the city in the first weeks of the war, in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.

More than 10 Russian missiles also hit the town of Chernihiv about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Kyiv, regional governor Vyacheslav Chausov told Ukrainian television. Like Kyiv, Chernihiv had not been targeted for weeks.

“It was Russia offering its greetings on the Day of Ukrainian State Sovereignty,” he said, adding that there were concerns about a “second phase of operations land by the enemy”.

The Northern District Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said more than 20 missiles had been fired at the Chernihiv region bordering Russia from a base in Belarus – Russia’s ally.

In the south, Ukraine said its planes hit five Russian strongholds around the city of Kherson and another nearby town, where it is focusing its biggest counteroffensive since the Russian invasion began on 24 february.

The Kherson region, which borders Russia’s annexed Crimea, fell to Russian forces shortly after launching what Moscow calls “a special military operation”. Ukraine describes Russia’s actions as an imperial-style war of conquest.

Ukraine has used long-range missile systems supplied by the West to severely damage three bridges over the Dnipro River in recent weeks, making it harder for Russia to supply its forces on the western bank.

British intelligence said the strategy was beginning to isolate Russian forces in the Kherson region.

“The Russian 49th Army, stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River, now looks very vulnerable,” he said in an intelligence bulletin.

The city of Kherson was now virtually cut off from other Russian-occupied territories.

“His loss would seriously undermine Russia’s attempts to portray the occupation as a success,” British intelligence said.

Ukraine says it has taken over some small settlements on the northern edge of the region in recent weeks as it tries to fend off Russian forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its planes attacked a Ukrainian infantry brigade in the far north of the Kherson region and killed more than 130 of its soldiers in the past 24 hours.

Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Russian-appointed civil-military administration that runs the Kherson region, also dismissed Western and Ukrainian assessments of the battlefield situation.

Reuters could not verify reports from the battlefield.

RIA reported on Thursday that Russian security services discovered a group of Ukrainian operatives in Kherson who had been paid to pass the map coordinates of Russian forces to Ukraine for targeting with artillery.

Two people in the southern seaside town of Koblevo were thrown by a sea mine as they swam despite a ban, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

EAST FRONT

Russia continues to carry out strikes against targets across Ukraine while trying to take control of the entire industrialized Donbass region to the east, including the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russian forces shelled the town of Bakhmut four times, which was cited by Russia as a priority target in its advance through Donetsk, Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. At least three people were killed and three were injured, he said.

As the fighting rages, international efforts have continued to try to reopen Ukrainian ports and allow exports of grain and other commodities.

Allowing the safe passage of grain shipments from Ukraine should ease the shortages that have left tens of millions of people around the world facing soaring food prices and hunger.

Russia and Ukraine struck a deal last week to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports, but UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said “crucial” details for safe passage of ships were still being developed.

Griffiths hoped the first shipment of grain from a Ukrainian Black Sea port could take place as early as Friday. Read more

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Grant McCool and Stephen Coates; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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