According to Ukrainian authorities, their forces targeted a Russian ammunition depot in southern Ukraine overnight, resulting in a massive explosion captured on social media.
According to the Ukrainian military’s southern command, a rocket strike was launched against the depot in Russian-held Nova Kakhovka, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of the Black Sea port city of Kherson, which is also under Russian control.
The precision of the strike suggested that Ukrainian forces used multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, supplied by the United States. Ukraine has recently indicated that it may launch a counteroffensive to reclaim territory in the country’s south as Russia devotes all of its resources to capturing the entire eastern Donbas region.
According to Russia’s Tass news agency, a mineral fertilizer storage facility exploded in Nova Kakhovka, and the strike damaged a market, a hospital, and several houses. Some fertilizer ingredients can be used to make ammunition.
The Associated Press examined a satellite image taken Tuesday and found significant damage. Ukraine now has eight of the HIMAR systems, a truck-mounted missile launcher with high accuracy, and Washington has promised to send another four.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian shelling over the past 24 hours has killed at least 16 civilians and injured 48 more, according to a Tuesday morning update from Ukraine’s presidential office. According to the office, Russian forces attacked cities and towns in five southeast regions.
In Donetsk province, which comprises half of the Donbas, nine civilians were killed and two others were injured. According to the presidential office, Russian rocket attacks targeted the cities of Sloviansk and Toretsk, where a kindergarten was hit.
The British military said Tuesday that Russia was making “small, incremental gains” in Donetsk, where heavy fighting prompted the province’s governor last week to urge the province’s 350,000 remaining residents to relocate to safer areas in western Ukraine.
The death toll from a Russian rocket attack on a Donetsk apartment building on Saturday has risen to 38, according to Ukrainian officials on Tuesday afternoon. Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk regional military administration, announced earlier in the day on social media that nine injured people had been rescued from the building in Chasiv Yar.
Despite the fact that scores of civilians are killed and injured each week in the Donbas, a fertile industrial region in eastern Ukraine comprised of the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Russian strikes hit residential buildings in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and its surrounding region, killing four civilians and injuring nine, according to Ukrainian officials.
“The Russians continue to intimidate the peaceful population of the Kharkiv region,” Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. According to Ukrainian authorities, Russian fire struck the southern city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday morning, damaging residential buildings. The Russian shelling injured twelve people, with some of the rockets hitting two medical facilities, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.
Air raid sirens sounded in the western city of Lviv on Tuesday, the first time in over a week, and in other parts of Ukraine as Russian forces advanced.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that “fighting continues near the villages” on the administrative border with neighboring Donetsk in eastern Luhansk. “The Russian army destroys everything in its path.” “The artillery barrage doesn’t stop and can last for four to six hours,” Haidai said.
According to the British Defense Ministry’s intelligence briefing, Russia has seized the Ukrainian town of Hryhorivka and is advancing on the Donetsk province cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.
“Russian forces are likely maintaining military pressure on Ukrainian forces while regrouping and reconstituting for future offensives,” according to the intelligence briefing.
According to the British ministry, Russia may be relying more heavily on private military contractors, such as the Wagner Group, to avoid a general mobilization. Wagner has been accused by Western officials of using mercenaries to fight in Africa and elsewhere.