August 19, 2022, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine: A Ukrainian soldier seen patrolling at an undisclosed frontline checkpoint position in Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine. As Ukrainian officials have claimed partiality to recover their territory, and operating a counter-offensive in the south including Mykolaiv Oblast, to attack the Russian forces in the Kherson area. Mykolaiv oblast, with the strategic city of Ukraine located on the Southern side with access to the Black Sea and is one of the main shipbuilding centres, used to have a population of 476,101 2021 est., but has been undergoing heavy siege and bombardment after the full-scale invasion from Russia, over 60% of the residents have fled from the war crisis. Mykolaiv Oblast Ukraine - ZUMAs197 20220819_zab_s197_235 Copyright: xAlexxChanx

Ukraine’s offensive in the south has been going on for about a week now. As President Zelenskyj announced today, two towns have been liberated so far. He didn’t name names. However, a photo from Vysokopillya circulated on social media showing Ukrainian soldiers hoisting the country’s flag on a building.

Wyssokopillja is located in the northwest of the approximately 240-kilometer-long front. It is likely that the Ukrainian troops have advanced further. Kyiv announced last week that it would only announce conquests if they were secured militarily. According to several observers, the Ukrainians are currently cutting a corridor roughly in the middle of the Kherson region from the north towards the Dnipro River. The corridor is said to extend several kilometers deep into Russian-occupied territory.

However, all information should be viewed with caution. Comparatively little video material is leaking out that allows fights to be geolocated. Even Russian military bloggers, who are usually well-informed about developments at the front, rarely provide updates on the combat operations. Communication with the Russian troops has been disrupted, it says succinctly on one of the largest channels.

A high-reach channel on the Telegram chat service, which is close to the Wagner mercenaries, reports that the Russian artillery and air force are unable to support the attacked soldiers, at least in some sections of the front. The situation is not yet “critical”, the channel says.

Research by the Economist in the city of Mykolaiv near Cherson shows that the Ukrainian offensive is by no means the “bloody failure” that Moscow describes it as (source here). There, 15 to 30 soldiers would be admitted to the central emergency room every day. “More than usual,” one of the doctors explained to journalists, “but not a nightmare.”

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