Rail traffic to Kherson across the Dnipro River had been cut off, the army’s southern command said, potentially further isolating Russian forces west of the river from supplies in occupied Crimea and the east.
Ukraine has in recent weeks used Western-supplied long-range missile systems to heavily damage three bridges over the Dnipro, cutting off the city of Kherson and – in the opinion of British defense officials – the 49th Russian Army, stationed on the west bank of the river, seriously lagged. vulnerable.
“As a result of the fire that has taken control of the main transport links in the occupied territory, it has been determined that traffic over the railway bridge over the Dnipro is not possible,” Ukraine’s southern command said in a statement.
It said more than 100 Russian soldiers and seven tanks had been destroyed in fighting on Friday in the Kherson region, the first major city taken by the Russians after their invasion on Feb. 24.
The first deputy head of the Kherson Regional Council, Yuri Sobolevsky, told residents to stay away from Russian ammunition depots.
“The Ukrainian army is plunging on the Russians and this is just the beginning,” he wrote on Telegram.
The pro-Ukrainian governor of the Kherson region, Dmytro Butriy, said the Berislav district was particularly hard hit. Berislav is located across the river northwest of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.
“In some villages, not a single house has been left intact, all infrastructure has been destroyed, people live in basements,” he wrote on the Telegram app.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports and officials of the Russian-appointed government that governs the Kherson region rejected Western and Ukrainian assessments of the situation earlier this week.
The two sides also exchanged allegations on Friday about a rocket attack or explosion that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the eastern province of Donetsk.
Forty inmates were killed and 75 injured in the prison in the frontline city of Olenivka, which is being held by Moscow-backed separatists, Russia’s defense ministry said. Some of the deaths were confirmed by Reuters journalists in prison.
A spokesman for the separatists estimated the death toll at 53 and accused Kiev of shelling the prison with US-made HIMARS missiles.
The Ukrainian armed forces denied responsibility, saying Russian artillery had attacked the prison to cover up the beatings of those held there. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had committed a war crime and called for international condemnation.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify the different versions of the events.
Reuters TV showed the remains of a cavernous burnt-out building filled with metal beds, some with charred bodies on them, while others were set up on military stretchers or on the ground outside.
Shell fragments had been placed on a blue metal bench. Recognizable marks were not immediately visible and it was not clear where the fragments had been collected.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it is seeking access to the site and has offered to help evacuate the injured.
Ukraine has accused Russia of atrocities and atrocities against civilians since the invasion and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes. Russia denies targeting civilians.
A UN-brokered deal to resume grain shipments from Ukraine and alleviate a global food crisis was discussed Friday by top diplomats from the United States and Russia during their first phone call since Russia’s invasion of its neighbor began on Feb. 24.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Washington was failing to keep its promises regarding food exemption from sanctions, the State Department said.
A Russian Foreign Ministry report of the phone call quoted Lavrov telling Blinken that Russia would achieve all the goals of its “special military operation” and saying that Western arms supplies to Ukraine would only prolong the conflict.
Blinken warned Lavrov of possible Russian territorial claims during his war in Ukraine.
“The world will not recognize annexations. We will impose significant additional costs on Russia if it goes ahead with its plans,” he said.