Ukrainian forces are fighting to retake the key southern city of Kherson from the Russians, according to a senior US Department of Defense official.
The Russian military no longer has as tight control over the city as before, which is why Kherson is now classified as a “disputed area” again, the Pentagon official said on Friday. The Ukrainians are “resisting” there, he said.
[Lesen Sie auch: „Es ist schlimmer als zu Sowjet-Zeiten“: In Cherson zeigt sich, was bei Putins Sieg droht (T+)]
Kherson, at the beginning of the Dnipro estuary, is a strategically important port city, the senior official said. If the Ukrainians manage to recapture the city, it would complicate the Russian attack on the nearby besieged city of Mykolaiv.
It would also make a possible ground offensive in the direction of the eastern port city of Odessa much more difficult, he said. A possible capture of Kherson would be “a significant advance” for the war in southern Ukraine, he added.
[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]
The Russian army took Cherson earlier this month. About ten days ago, Moscow reported the capture of the entire Cherson district. About a million people live in the area of the Black Sea region.
The Pentagon representative further explained that due to the fighting south of Mykolayiv, the Russian military was blocked there, so there was also no “imminent threat” of an attack on Odessa.
There is also no sign of any activity towards Odessa among Russian warships in the Black Sea. He added that the Russian military continues to face logistical problems. Now there are “first signs” that the military wants to move additional Russian troops from Georgia to Ukraine, he said. (dpa)