'It is burning' Russian strategic woes mount as Zelensky's men obliterate another base

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Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, shared an image of a huge plume of smoke rising from what he claims is a “Russian military base” in Snigurivka, in the southern Mykolaiv region. Western officials have recently indicated Ukraine is making headway to reclaim key parts of the southern front, including the economically and militarily significant city of Kherson – about 50km from the latest missile strike.

Sharing the image of the successful hit, local Ukrainian media site Snig said: “You can endlessly look at three things: how the fire is burning, how the water is flowing and how the Armed Forces are making ‘cotton’ to the occupiers in Snigurivka”.

A huge plume of smoke can be seen rising from the scene. The strike comes after Mykolaiv’s governor Vitaliy Kim said via Telegram that Russian shelling had damaged homes, three hospitals, two education facilities, a hotel and a museum in the region.

Mr Kim said targets included a private house destroyed by a missile in the village of Vysunsk, Bereznehuvate, where one child is reported to have died and three others have shrapnel injuries. He added the city of Mykolaiv was subjected to “massive rocket fire” overnight from Saturday into this morning, with many municipal buildings damaged and one person reported as injured so far.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Ukrainian counteroffensive “is tangibly degrading Russian logistics and administrative capabilities in occupied southern Ukraine”.

The ISW have previously reported that Ukrainian troops are aiming to exploit weaknesses in Russian logistics in the south. They are achieving this though precision strikes on “manpower and equipment concentrations, command centres, and logistics nodes”.

The effect of these strikes can already be seen, as Russia paused plans to hold a referendum in Kherson, right next to Mykolaiv, on whether it should officially become part of Putin’s dictatorship. Head of the Kherson occupation regime Kirill Stremousov told Russian state-owned media outlet TASS that the pause was due to “security” concerns.

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The Ukrainian Resistance Center similarly reported that Russian occupation authorities were abandoning plans for a referendum due to the ongoing counteroffensive. But shortly afterwards, Mr Stremousov posted on Telegram denying what TASS had just reported him saying.

He claimed instead that his administration had never set an official date for the referendum.

The ISW reported: “Both of Stremousov’s statements indicate a high level of disorganization within occupation regimes that is likely being exacerbated by the effects of the counteroffensive. Ukrainian forces intend to slowly chip away at both Russian tactical and operational level capabilities in Kherson Oblast, and in doing so will likely have significant impacts on the administrative and bureaucratic capabilities of occupation officials.”

Around 20,000 Russian troops have been redeployed to the western bank of the Dnipro River.

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Anonymous Western officials speaking to Politico reported that Ukrainian troops were making progress on retaking Kherson. While Kyiv had stated the operation to retake Ukrainian territories will be slow, the officials said there were signs that Russians were dropping back in the region.

One of the officials said: “The [offensive] that they have initiated has already made some tactical gains. That is clear. It is an operation that is limited to some extent in scope.

“The Ukrainians themselves have already said that the offensive is, in their words, a planned slow operation to grind the enemy, which will take time and effort. I don’t think we should be anticipating gigantic breakthroughs which completely change the picture … The signs are good at the moment.”

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