Tank and mechanized infantry units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) launched a new wave of attacks in the southern Kherson region with some assaults gaining as much as 20 kilometers against seemingly limited Russian Federation (RF) resistance, Monday news reports said.

The Kherson sector had been relatively quiet for more than a month, as a powerful Kyiv offensive in the northern Kharkiv region liberated dozens of villages and more than 5,000 square kilometers of RF-occupied territory.

AFU units in the south on Saturday kicked off its attacks along the Kherson-Nikopol T0403 highway. Images uploaded by advancing Ukrainian troops and reports by RF-controlled media platform operators showed Kyiv’s forces had by Monday morning captured the riverside villages Osokorivka, Zolota Balka, Novooleksandrivka and Havrylivka. Combat was reportedly in progress in the fishing village Dudchany, marking more than 30 kilometers of Ukrainian progress south and west over the past 48 hours.

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Further inland, AFU units launching attacks from the strong point town Vysokopilliya advanced 10 kilometers and captured the villages Arkhanhelske and Zarichne. Russian nationalist sources, including Igor Girkin, who has long been critical of the RF military’s performance, confirmed that RF troops had left the area.

A third AFU push, in the vicinity of the Davydiv Brid, a town controlling a tactically important crossing point across the Inhulets River, was less successful according to multiple reports. RF media showed images of an AFU column comprising 10 to 12 trucks and armored personnel carriers in the vicinity badly damaged, apparently by artillery fire. Official Ukrainian sources said nothing about the alleged setback.

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An AFU artillery gunner contacted by Kyiv Post said RF defenses in the area were manned by RF paratroopers from the city of Pskov and that the Russians were fighting hard despite being under heavy howitzer bombardment for two days so far.

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Ukrainian official Yaroslav Yanushevych, head of the Kherson regional defense command, said that the AFU was advancing on a wide front in the Kherson region and that the advance had not stopped. “Arkhanhelske and Myroliubivka are officially liberated from the enemy! We are waiting for more good news! Glory to the AFU! Glory to Ukraine!” Yanushevych wrote in a Sunday Telegram post.

Some RF sources said Ukrainian troops had overwhelmed and demolished weak RF defenses in the Kherson sector and that the RF military had little to stop them. The Donetsk-based Readovka information platform said: “The situation in this sector is serious, an operational crisis.” The pro-Russia site predicted RF reinforcements, backed by the RF air force, would halt the AFU.

According to the Oct. 2 situation update from Ukraine’s Joint Forces South (JFS), battles were intense with the Ukrainian air force launching nine air strikes in the southern sector, and artillery and artillery rocket units firing more than 340 bombardments over the past 24 hours. Among air kills claimed by the AFU was a $30million Ka-52 attack helicopter. Video images purportedly from the Oct. 1 shoot-down showed a low-flying chopper struck by an infantry-fired missile, catching fire and exploding after hitting the ground.

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The official statement said that RF authorities responding to the AFU offensive effectively locked down all roads, towns and villages in occupied Kherson region, making civilian movement practically impossible. Vladislav Nazarov, JFS spokesman, said RF troops were extorting gold, money and other valuables from motorists attempting pass checkpoints.

Rodion Kudryashov, commander of the “Azov Dnipro” territorial defense battalion, in an Oct. 3 television interview said RF artillery was continuing bombardments of Ukrainian homes and businesses. He said AFU units in Kherson sector were currently digging in at recently-liberated villages and terrain, and would make more advances in coming days and weeks. The southern offensive would most likely keep rolling until the end of October, Kudryashov predicted.

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