Russian forces took over Ukraine’s second-biggest power plant and are conducting a “massive redeployment” of troops to three southern regions, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said, amid expectations of a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Russian-backed forces said on Wednesday they had captured the Soviet-era coal-fired Vuhlehirsk power plant intact, in what was Moscow’s first significant gain in more than three weeks.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, confirmed the capture of the plant in the eastern Donetsk region, but said it was only a “tiny tactical advantage” for Russia.
The Russian redeployment to the south appeared to be a switch to strategic defence from offence, he added, with troops sent to Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
Ukraine has made clear it intends to recapture the southern city of Kherson, which fell to Russia in the early days of the war.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, earlier tweeted that Russia was concentrating “the maximum number of troops” in the direction of the Kherson but gave no details.
Ukrainian forces in the south said they had killed 66 enemy troops and destroyed three tanks and two arms dumps in the past 24 hours. Russian forces attacked the city of Mykolaiv with multiple rocket launchers, they added.