The Ukrainian military reports heavy shelling by Russian forces across the front lines in Zaporizhzhia region, with at least a dozen settlements being hit, but at the same time it has reported damaging strikes against Russian bases deep in occupied territory.
In Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian defense forces said the towns of Huliapole and Novoandriivka were among those hit.
“The enemy focuses its main efforts on holding the occupied borders, while shelling the positions of Ukrainian defenders with tank weapons, rocket and barrel artillery along the entire contact line,” they said.
Police had received nearly 30 reports on the destruction of civilian properties, it added.
But the Ukrainians have confirmed that three days ago they hit a “concentration” of Russian troops some distance behind the front lines in Kherson region. The strike occurred in the Skadovsk district, near the border with Crimea.
“Up to 140 Russian servicemen were wounded and 8 Kamaz trucks with ammunition were destroyed,” the Ukrainian military said.
It also claimed another strike on December 20 in Kherson had killed up to 150 Russian troops. Another 50 had been injured in the strike, which targeted an enemy airfield near Kakhovka.
“Up to 20 units of military equipment of various types were destroyed,” it said.
Local social media channels say there were also powerful explosions at a Russian base in the town of Tokmak in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday night, but neither side has made any official comment. Video shot at night showed several explosions but could not be geolocated.
In addition work continues on extensive demining operations in previously occupied areas.
The total area that is mined is about 880,000 hectares, of which about two-thirds are in Kherson region.
So far, engineering units have inspected 1,175 kilometers (730 miles) of roads, 456 kilometers of railroads and 660 kilometers of power lines as part of the demining operation.
“In total, about 40,000 explosive items were removed during these tasks,” the military said.