Russia re-deploying troops in Ukraine-occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia: Kyiv advisor Oleksiy Arestovych

Arestovych said Russia seemed to be switching from offence to strategic defence, using tactical attacks in a bid to weaken Ukraine's offensive potential in the crucial eastern Donetsk industrial region.

ANIUpdated: Thursday, July 28, 2022, 03:52 PM IST
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Russia re-deploying troops in Ukraine-occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia: Kyiv advisor Oleksiy Arestovych | Wikimedia commons

Amid intense fighting between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian forces have started massive redeployment of troops to Ukraine's occupied Kherson and partially occupied Zaporizhia regions, Kyiv adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a statement.

Describing it as the change of tactics by Moscow, Arestovych said that Russia is switching from offence to strategic defence, using tactical attacks in a bid to weaken Ukraine's offensive potential in the crucial eastern Donetsk industrial region, Al Jazeera reported.

Oleksiy Arestovych said in a YouTube interview that Russian forces had taken over Ukraine's second-biggest power plant. Russian-backed forces had earlier announced the capture of the Soviet-era, coal-fired Vuhlehirsk plant in eastern Ukraine.

Arestovych said Russia seemed to be switching from offence to strategic defence, using tactical attacks in a bid to weaken Ukraine's offensive potential in the crucial eastern Donetsk industrial region.

"[This would] place us in a position where we are unable to liberate all our territory and call for talks," he said.

Ukraine shelled an important bridge in Kherson recently, closing it to traffic, and Zelenskyy promised to rebuild Antonivskyi bridge in the Russian-occupied Kherson region after it was struck by Ukrainian forces with what a Moscow-appointed local administrator said were US-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

The Antonivskyi bridge is the city of Kherson's sole span across the river and Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed city administration, told Russia's RIA news agency it had been closed to traffic after the attack. according to Al Jazeera.

The Ukrainian army, emboldened by deliveries of Western-supplied long-range artillery has been clawing back territory in the southern Kherson region in recent weeks.

Just a day after Ukraine and Russia agreed on a grain deal. Russian missiles hit the southern Ukrainian port of Odessa.At least two missiles hit the infrastructure of the port and two were shot down by Ukraine's air defence.

This attack came one day after Ukraine and Russian ministers signed an agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul, to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports aimed at easing the global food crisis sparked by the war.

Earlier, on Friday, a deal was reached between Ukraine and Russia where Russia promised to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds, some of Ukraine's most important exports.

Russia has so far been blocking maritime access to those ports, meaning that millions of tons of Ukrainian grain have not been exported to the many countries that rely on it, according to CNN.

"Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope -- a beacon of possibility -- a beacon of relief -- in a world that needs it more than ever," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday at the signing ceremony, which was attended by Ukrainian and Russian ministers.

On February 24, Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics requested help in defending themselves. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

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