Ukraine’s campaign to attack Russian supply lines and ammunition storage sites far behind the front lines continued over the weekend, with Ukrainian officials reporting another long-range strike against military positions Russians in the southern region of Kherson.
Serhiy Khlan, a member of the Kherson regional council, said on Sunday that there was “a precise hit” on the military unit of the occupiers on Pestelia Street in the city of Kherson.
The unit was hit twice on Sunday morning, Khlan said.
Geotagged images and videos in Kherson showed a thick column of gray smoke rising into the air on Sunday morning.
“Witnesses report screams of Russians under the rubble. The occupants fire into the air when someone tries to approach,” Khlan told Ukrainian television.
“Thanks to modern Western weapons, Russian air defenses cannot intercept artillery [fire].”
Khlan also spoke of the difficulty for civilians trying to leave the area.
“As for the evacuation from the Kherson region, there is no humanitarian corridor. People leave at their own risk via Vasylivka to Zaporizhzhia; the line of cars can last one to two weeks,” said Khlan.
“Occupiers demand money for departure or even take away personal belongings of our people. In case of departure to Crimea, there are risks of being taken to filtration camps.”
There is anecdotal evidence that hundreds of residents of Kherson passed through the Crimea and then crossed into Russia or Turkey.
What happened? Sunday’s attack follows a series of explosions near Kherson airport on Saturday and at what appears to have been an ammunition storage site in the Donetsk region.
Russia’s official TASS news agency reported four explosions in the sky over the city of Kherson caused by what it said were Russian air defense systems.
TASS said its correspondent in Kherson reported smoke on Perekopskaya Street in the middle of the city.
“Leaving Kherson”: Earlier Friday, Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, called on residents to evacuate the Kherson region.
“I urge you to evacuate as soon as possible, by all means. Don’t wait,” Vereshchuk said.
“People have to look for an opportunity to leave because our armed forces are going to be distracted. There will be huge battles,” she said.
She warned residents that they could be used as human shields by the Russians and that staying in occupied districts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions is dangerous.
Alexander Khinshtein, a member of the Russian parliament, denied Ukraine’s claims.
“Ukrainian sources are happily reproducing a fake about a missile attack on the Russian guard base in Kherson,” he said on Telegram. “The missile hit a 4-storey building, where one of the Russian Guards support units was located. The day before, it had been moved to another location.”
Geotagged images by CNN show the badly damaged building is in the middle of Kherson, but it’s unclear if it was occupied when it was hit.
Ukrainian military intelligence said on Monday it had intercepted a call between Russian soldiers, in which one of them claimed that Ukrainian forces had “hit the most important command. They hit very hard”. The soldier said 12 people were killed in the attack.
CNN is unable to verify the authenticity of the call.