Will Ukraine Recapture Kherson By September? – Kherson Oblast, a region in the south of Ukraine that’s home to the country’s shipbuilding industry, was captured by Russian forces in March. Kherson was the first Ukrainian city to fall to Russia and became one in a long line of Ukrainian cities that would ultimately be conquered by invading forces.
If Ukrainian officials are to be believed, however, the city and the entire region could soon be controlled by Kyiv forces once again, as troops fight back against Russia’s rumored plans to establish a land bridge between the eastern Donbas region, through to Crimea, and West to the border with Moldova.
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine’s Forces Moving Towards Kherson
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said over the weekend that Ukrainian forces are making advances “step by step” in Kherson – a claim backed by British defense officials who reported heavy fighting in the region on Saturday.
The increased warfare in the region, the British Ministry of Defence claims, means that Russian supply lines to the west of the Dnipro river are now “increasingly at risk.”
“In the last 48 hours, heavy fighting has been taking place as Ukrainian forces have continued their offensive against Russian forces in Kherson Oblast, west of the Dnipro River,” a British intelligence update reads. “Russia is likely attempting to slow the Ukrainian attack using artillery fire along the natural barrier of the Ingulets River, a tributary of the Dnipro.”
Ukraine Gets a Win in Kherson? Liberated By September?
Ukrainian military officials claim that their troops have reached a “turning point” in the battle to reclaim the southern region of Kherson, claiming that western weapons – including HIMARS – will be used to successfully reclaim the territory from the Russians.
Speaking on Ukrainian television on Sunday, the administrative head of the Kherson region, Sergiy Khlan, said that Ukrainian troops are no longer in a defensive position.
“We can say that a turning point has occurred on the battlefield. We are switching from defensive to counteroffensive actions,” Khlan said, adding that the Kherson region will “definitely be liberated by September” and that “all the occupiers’ plans will fail.”
Khlan also said on Facebook on Saturday that the Ukrainian offensive was a “continuation of the operation to cut off the Kherson group of Russians from supply” and that it would not have been possible without weapons and ammunition supplied by the west.
If Ukraine is successful in reclaiming control of Kherson, it would be a huge blow for Russia and the Kremlin’s plans to potentially launch an invasion of Moldova to the west of Ukraine. Without Kherson, and without full control of Ukraine’s southern region, a land bridge between Russian-occupied Donbas, Crimea, and Moldova would be impossible.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.