Ukrainian forces have made some gains in the southern Kherson region, Russian officials acknowledged on Monday.
Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed head of Ukraine’s Kherson region, said Ukraine made “breakthroughs” in areas on the west bank of the Dnieper river.
“Where the Kakhovka (reservoir) is, there is a settlement called Dudchany … it is in this area that there is a breakthrough and there are settlements taken by Ukrainian troops,” Saldo said, referring to an area on the Dnieper.
Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Russian-installed Kherson administration, also confirmed that Ukraine made gains but said Russian forces would continue defending the area.
“On the Kherson direction, strangely enough, everything is under control, regardless of what is happening. Yes, the Nazis (Ukraine’s armed forces) have broken through a little deeper,” Stremousov said. “But our defense system is working. So no panic, no matter who says what, we are on the territory of the Kherson Region.”
Ukraine has taken heavy casualties in its southern counteroffensive, and Monday’s advances appear to be their most significant gains since launching the operation in late August. Ukraine also made some more gains in its eastern counteroffensive following its capture of the city of Lyman in Donetsk, an area Russia said it withdrew from to avoid encirclement.
While Ukrainian forces are advancing, it is at a high cost, and the gains come as Russia is sending reinforcements into Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 additional troops. Russia is expected to launch a major effort to capture more of Donetsk as it is formalizing the annexation of the Ukrainian territories that are under its control.