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Ukraine-Russia War to ‘enter a new phase’ as armies move south to Kherson Oblast, Crimea

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The war between Russia and Ukraine is “about to enter a new phase,” British intelligence officials said Saturday.

UK Defense Intelligence said in an intelligence report that Russian forces were “certainly amassing” in Southern Ukraine and that strategic fighting would now shift from the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine to the area between the Mykolaiv Oblast, Kherson, and the Crimean Peninsula, in the South. 

“Russia’s war with Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting shifting to a roughly 350km front line stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhya to Kherson, paralleling the Dnieper River,” UK’s Defense Ministry said.

“Russian forces are almost certainly massing in the south in anticipation of Ukraine’s counter-offensive or in preparation for a possible assault,” the intelligence report added.

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  • Ukrainian soldiers near a tank

    A Ukrainian Army tank drives over an infantryman during a training exercise on May 09, 2022, near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine. (John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Ukrainian artillerymen near an artillery cannon

    Ukrainian artillerymen in the military assembly center at the frontline in Kherson, Ukraine on July 15, 2022.  (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

  • A damaged building in Kherson, Ukraine

    A view of the destroyed Fabrika shopping mall in the city of Kherson on July 20, 2022, .  (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK Defense Ministry also detailed a major movement of Russian troops, tanks and support vehicles into the southern region.

“Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, towed artillery and other weapons continue to move away from Ukraine’s Donbas region and are headed southwest. Equipment was also reported to be moving from Russian-occupied Melitopol, Berdiansk, Mariupol and from mainland Russia via the Kerch Bridge into Crimea,” the intelligence update said.

“Battalion tactical groups (BTG), which compromise between 800 and 1,000 troops, have been deployed to Crimea and would almost certainly be used to support Russian troops in the Kherson region,” the report added, noting another BTG would likely be joining these forces “in the coming days.”

RUSSIA RAINS 60 ROUNDS OF SHELLS IN SOUTHERN UKRAINE AS IT RAMPS UP OFFENSIVE ALONG DNIEPER RIVER

  • A Ukrainian tank

    Ukrainian tank with infantry nearby on May 09, 2022, near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine.  (John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Ukrainian soldiers marching

    Ukrainian infantrymen train on May 09, 2022, near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine.  (John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Ukrainian equipment

    Equipment of Ukrainian soldiers from artillery batteries at the frontline in Kherson are seen in Kherson, Ukraine on July 15, 2022.  (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

  • A photo of a Ukrainian soldier

    A Ukrainian serviceman walks in a trench between southern cities of Mykolaiv and Kherson on June 12, 2022.  (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

After more than 160 days of fighting in a war that many experts thought would have lasted less than two weeks, Ukraine has successfully launched counterattacks and regained territories on its eastern front that were once occupied by Russia.

The country has also found success targeting critical transportation infrastructure that Russia was using to assist forces on its front lines.

“Ukrainian forces are focusing their targeting on bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in Ukraine’s southern regions including the strategically important railroad spur that links Kherson to Russian-occupied Crimea, almost certainly using a combination of block, damage, degrade, deny, destroy, and disrupt effects to try to affect Russia’s ability to logistically resupply,” the report said.

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A woman greets a Ukrainian military member on July 25, 2022, in Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine. 

A woman greets a Ukrainian military member on July 25, 2022, in Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine.  (Ivan Chernichkin/Zaborona/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

The report comes as Ukrainian authorities shifted and responded to a Russian offensive in Kherson last month.

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Written by Worldman

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