Ukraine destroyed a Russian military column as it was redeploying from the Kakhovka dam flood zone to the Zaporizhzhya Oblast section of front, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov revealed on national television on June 18.
Residents of the occupied city of Melitopol reported the transfer of Russian troops and equipment towards the Zaporizhzhya front from Kherson Oblast following the explosion at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Fedorov said.
“Our residents witnessed the movement of military machinery, heavy weaponry, and personnel of the occupiers from the Nova Kakhovka and Kakhovka directions. It is from there that hostile forces were redeployed to the Zaporizhzhya frontline,” he said.
Fedorov he said one of these columns of enemy vehicles had been ambushed and destroyed, and that Ukrainian intelligence agencies and members of the Ukrainian resistance in the occupied territories were involved in the operation.
The Russian convoy was eliminated on the border of Vasilyivka and Melitopol district, the mayor said. He did not say when the ambush was carried out.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a counter-offensive in early June, and on June 6, Russian forces blew up the dam at Nova Kakhovka, causing a massive flood downstream on the Dnipro River, and the draining of the Kakhovka Reservoir – with a volume of 18 billion cubic meters of water, formerly one of Europe’s biggest.
It was then that Russian forces began to deploy away from the east bank of the Dnipro River and towards Zaporizhzhya Oblast, according to earlier reports.
Some military experts speculate the Russians destroyed the dam in an effort to prevent Ukrainian forces crossing the Dnipro River and attacking behind defensive lines in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has announced that over the past week-and-a-half, Ukrainian military forces have advanced more than 3 kilometers inthe eastern direction. There is also “gradual but steady” progress in the south, the Ukrainian military says.
Furthermore, the southern offensive is being conducted simultaneously in multiple directions.
Earlier, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavlyuk, one of Ukraine’s Deputy Ministers of Defense, said that the invaders had destroyed the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in an attempt to impede the Ukrainian counter-offensive.
He added that the enemy lacked sufficient forces and resources to halt the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
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