Ukraine HIMARS attacks Russian bases in major counterattack

Ukrainian forces attacked a number of targets around the occupied city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, on the night of 2-3 August.

According to local media, several Russian bases and weapons warehouses were attacked in the Kherson Oblast using US-supplied HIMARS advanced multiple rocket launchers.

Ukrainian news site Obozrevatel reports that a Russian base has been hit in Chornobaivka, on the outskirts of occupied Kherson.

This was confirmed on Facebook by the official “Operation Command South” page of the Ukrainian army, which said the target had been hit with “missile and artillery fire”.

Ukraine hits Russian targets in Kherson oblast
Ukrainian forces fire a US-made M777 howitzer from their frontline position in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on August 1, 2022. Ukrainian forces have also used HIMARS (not pictured) to hit Russian targets.
SERGEY BOBOK/GETTY

Video posted on Telegram, which has not been independently verified by News weekreportedly shows that the Russian base in Chornobaivka is coming under fire.

In a separate incident, Ukrainian troops said they hit an ammunition warehouse in Berislav, further up the Dnipro River from Kherson.

According to Obozrevatel, the target was successfully destroyed, with multiple secondary explosions as stored ammunition detonated.

The Ukrainians also reported three attacks on Russian “strongholds” in Berislavsky and Bashtansky districts, along with another on an ammunition depot in the same area.

Ukrainian forces are laying the groundwork for an operation to liberate Kherson, which was occupied by Russian forces in the first few days of the war, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying they are making “step by step” progress.

Retaking Kherson would help secure Odessa, Ukraine’s main Black Sea port and a clear Russian target.

If the entire Kherson oblast can be recaptured, it will break the land bridge between Crimea, which Russia took in 2014, and the Russian-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine and Russia itself.

On Monday, US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby announced that Washington will provide Ukraine with more missiles for its HIMARS, as part of a new $550 million aid package.

Ukraine has used its US-supplied HIMARS to attack Russian targets far behind the frontline, such as ammunition depots and command centers.

Retired US Army General Mark Hertling says this has been a “game changer” in his fight against the Russian invasion, leaving Kremlin troops “in deplorable shape”.

Ukrainian forces have hit three bridges across the Dnipro with HIMARS, making it more difficult for the Russians to reinforce their forces in Kherson.

These include the all-important Antonovsky Bridge which has remained “probably unusable”.

Russian forces in occupied parts of Kherson Oblast are also facing an uprising by Ukrainian partisans, with sabotage and assassination attempts against some local collaborators.

Speaking to the BBC, a partisan explained how his team monitors Russian troop movements and then relays the details to the Ukrainian army for artillery strikes.

An official of the local government installed in Russia has been killed in a car bomb attack, while several others have been injured.

Valery Kuleshov, a pro-Russian blogger, was shot dead in Kherson in April in a suspected partisan attack.

News week has contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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