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Military: Russians intensify artillery, drone strikes in southern Ukraine

Russia mounts over 100 daily artillery attacks on Kherson Oblast, intensifies drone strikes to make up for time lost when weather impacted operations, the Ukrainian military says.
Ukrainian soldiers landing on the eastern Russian-controlled bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast. Photo: Telegram/Zelenskiy Official

Southern Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast remains highly tense as the Russian forces employ artillery, aviation, and various types of UAVs to exert pressure on the Ukrainian defenders, as reported by Nataliia Humeniuk, the head of the joint press center of the Operational Command “South,” on Ukrainian TV, according to Ukrinform.

In Kherson Oblast, the Ukrainian forces have been holding a bridgehead on the Russian-controlled eastern bank of the Dnipro River for months while the Russians have been trying to eliminate it. Additionally, on a daily basis, Russians have been bombarding Kherson city and multiple other Ukraine-controlled settlements in the region.

Situation in Kherson Oblast as of 23 January 2024. Map: deepstatemap

“The situation remains quite tense. The enemy is trying to compensate for the pressure with artillery, aviation, using unmanned aerial vehicles of various modifications from strike to those carrying fragmentation ammunition,” she said.

Humeniuk explained that the Russian forces are trying to compensate for the days “when time was lost due to [bad] weather conditions.”

The spokesperson highlighted an increase in Russia’s UAV activity, with over 30 drones observed, including FPV drones and drones dropping shrapnel munitions. She further mentioned that the enemy had escalated drone usage not only in Kherson Oblast but also in the direction of Mykolaiv Oblast’s Ochakiv district, employing drones as well as artillery to exert pressure on the defenders.

Also, Humeniuk pointed out that the Russian military is endeavoring to maintain a high level of artillery strikes, pushing them to reach around 100 per day.

“It is harder for them to do this now, because our counter-battery work was quite effective yesterday. A Grad multiple rocket launcher, seven artillery guns, two self-propelled artillery systems, and 11 units of armored vehicles were destroyed,” she said.

Humeniuk mentioned that the situation on the Dnipro River’s left bank in Kherson Oblast posed challenges due to adverse weather conditions affecting both Ukrainian and Russian units. She stated that the Ukrainian troops had to maintain their positions under challenging circumstances and expand the bridgehead despite enemy pressure.

Additionally, the spokesperson said a reduction was observed in the intensity of Russian ground attacks in that area, highlighting that the Russians had launched only one attack over the past day, subsequently repelled as they returned to their positions.

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