Russia increases shelling of Ukraine power infrastructure
Russia is increasing its shelling of Ukraine in a bid to pressure Kiev and make more gains in light of its withdrawal from Kherson.
Russia shelled several Ukrainian infrastructure sites on Tuesday following its withdrawal from Kherson and amid signs that Moscow's retreating forces were going further back from the southern Dnieper River.
Air raid sirens were heard blaring throughout Ukraine in nearly a dozen major cities after a massive barrage of missiles as Moscow tries to regain ground amid retreats in the east.
Strikes and explosions were reported in the cities of Kiev, Lvov, and Zhitomir in the west, Krivoy Rog in the south, and Kharkov in the east. According to regional officials in Ukraine, some of the attacks caused a power outage after hitting electricity supplies.
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, Tuesday saw the launch of more than 90 missiles at Ukraine, damaging 15 energy infrastructure facilities across the country. He reported the damage in a commentary to local TV channels.
Last week, Russia's Defense Ministry announced the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and equipment from the right bank of the Dnipro River, Kherson, as Moscow noted that there will be a need to build defenses on the left bank. Soon after, Ukrainian forces entered Kherson.
Last Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the transfer of Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson Region was completed at 5.00 Moscow time (02:00 GMT).
The Russian Defense Ministry noted that the advance of Ukrainian troops over the past two days in some areas in the Kherson Region did not exceed 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
On Wednesday, Commander of the Joint Russian Forces in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin reported to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that it was necessary to withdraw the troops from the right bank of the Dnipro river, including the city of Kherson, and organize a defense on its left bank, and the proposal was accepted by the minister.
Kherson, along with 3 neighboring regions of DPR, LPR, and Zaporozhye, voted to join the Russian federation in September. The vote was later approved by Moscow following legal and political procedures and finalized on October 5.
Following the accession of the regions into Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to protect Russia's new territories, by all means, saying Moscow would rebuild all the leveled cities and towns and back the industrial sector, develop enterprises, upgrade the infrastructure, and introduce healthcare systems.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Military spokesperson Natalya Humenyuk said Russia's forces appeared to be repositioning its artillery 15-20 km further from the river, to protect its guns from Ukrainian counterstrikes, raising claims from the West that Russia was retreating further back.
"There is a certain activity of enemy troops on the left bank of the Dnipro in terms of moving 15-20 km away from the bank," she said. Russia had artillery still capable of striking Kherson from those new positions, but "we also have something to answer with," Humenyuk said.
Amid the reports about Russia withdrawing, Ukrainian authorities have revoked the accreditation of at least 6 journalists - including for CNN and Sky News - for reporting on Kherson, Ukrainian news outlet Detector Media reported citing sources.
Russia had taken over Kherson soon after the Ukraine war broke out, and it held it until earlier in the month.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said that a number of foreign media representatives had their work permits revoked and press cards invalidated for covering news on Kherson despite a ban on leaking information in the region.
At the same time, sources were cited as saying that film crews from public Ukrainian broadcasters, such as Hromadske, and the official channel of the Ukrainian parliament, Rada - who both reported in Kherson - were not affected by the ban.