Western Ukrainian cities hit by Russian strikes, reports say

TEHRAN, Jul. 28 (MNA) – While media have reported that Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum, according to the UK Ministry of Defence, there are reports that Russia has attacked cities in the center and west on Thursday.

Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum, according to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Guardian newspaper website said in a report on Thursday.

A barrage of 25 missiles has been fired by Russian forces at northern regions of Ukraine from neighboring Belarus as the Ukrainian southern offensive appears to be gathering pace.

The early morning wave of missile strikes launched from the territory of Russia’s key ally hit targets in the Chernihiv region, including an apartment block, as well as locations outside Kyiv and around the city of Zhytomyr, Guardian report said citing Ukrainian officials and Belarusian opposition figures.

Meanwhile, the Chernihiv regional governor, Viacheslav Chaus, said nine missiles had struck close to the village of Honcharivska with some falling in the forest nearby. Activists who track Russian military moves in Belarus said the missile launches came from Ziabrauka airfield near Gomel, prompting calls for increased sanctions against Belarus.

Also, Vitaliy Kim, governor of Mykolaiv, said “On the morning of 28 July, a massive rocket attack was launched on Mykolaiv. It is known that as a result of three rocket strikes, the building of the secondary school in Korabelny district was almost completely destroyed. One person was injured.”

The strikes came as Ukraine celebrated Statehood Day for the first time, the Guardian report added.

Russian troops withdrew from the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions months ago, failing to capture either. 

According to Euronews, the renewed strikes on the areas come a day after the leader of pro-Kremlin separatists in the east, Denis Pushilin, publicly called on the Russian forces to "liberate Russian cities founded by the Russian people — Kyiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lutsk."

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, also came under a barrage of shelling overnight, its mayor Ihor Terekhov said. The southern city of Mykolaiv was fired at as well, with one person sustaining injuries.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continued to counterattack in the occupied southern region of Kherson, striking a key bridge over the Dnieper River on Wednesday.

Ukrainian media on Thursday quoted Ukraine's presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovich, as saying that the operation to liberate Kherson "has already begun". 

Arestovich said Kyiv's forces were planning to isolate Russian troops there and leave them with three options — to "retreat, if possible, surrender or be destroyed".

Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said in televised remarks on Wednesday he was "cautious" in assessing the timeline of the possible counteroffensive. 

MNA/PR

News Code 189593

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