NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: Russia has launched an attack on the Kyiv region for the first time in weeks. At the same time, the Ukrainian army is enjoying success in the south, where the city of Kherson is now almost completely isolated from Russian-occupied territory.
On Thursday, six Russian rockets hit a military base in the village of Liutizh, a few kilometers north of the capital Kyiv. The missiles were fired from the Black Sea.
Fifteen people were injured in the attack, including five civilians. One building was also destroyed and two other buildings were damaged. Ukrainian armed forces were able to intercept one missile.
Russian attacks also took place from Belarus in the northern Chernihiv region. Like the Kyiv region, Chernihiv has not been attacked by the Russians for weeks. Russian forces withdrew from both regions a few months ago after failing to capture major cities there. The Russian offensive is now mainly targeting the Donets basin in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine also reports five deaths in an attack on a flying school in the central Kirovohrad region. 25 people were also injured, including 12 soldiers. The attack could not yet be independently verified.
Attacks occurred on new Ukrainian holiday
According to the Ukrainian authorities, it was a retaliatory attack by the Russians for allegedly “standing up against the Kremlin”, the AP news agency reported. According to regional governor Oleksiy Kubela, it is therefore no coincidence that the attacks take place on State Day.
This is a new holiday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky created last year. The holiday is celebrated on the day in 988 that the then Kievan Rus converted to Christianity. The holiday is primarily a response to Russian claims that Ukraine is merely an artificial state.
Zelensky said on the first State Day on Thursday that Ukraine will remain an independent country despite Russia’s attempts to take Ukraine. “We will not become a legend of heroic resistance, but a victorious state,” the president said.
Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson
While Kyiv and Chernihiv have been rocked by attacks, the Ukrainian military in Kherson is making progress. There, the Ukrainians of the new HIMARS missile systems supplied by the west were able to destroy three strategic bridges. As a result, Russia has problems with the supply of troops in the city.
Thanks to those successes, Kherson is now cut off from other Russian-occupied territories. According to the British Ministry of Defense, the Ukrainian armed forces now have momentum to make the counteroffensive a success.
A possible recapture of Kherson would be a nice boost for Ukraine. Kherson was the first major city to fall into Russian hands after the war broke out.
Zelensky takes step in the fight against corruption
President Zelensky has taken a step in the fight against corruption in his country. On Thursday he appointed Oleksandr Klimenko as anti-corruption chief on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service (OM). Klimenko previously headed another anti-corruption body.
“The fight against corruption is a priority for us as a state, as our investment climate and business freedom depend on its success,” said the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff. By appointing the anti-corruption chief, Zelensky is fulfilling one of the conditions to become a member of the European Union.