Ukrainian forces have reportedly subjected the city of Novaya Kakhovka in southern Ukraine to “intense artillery fire” that has left the city without power. The Moscow-installed authorities in the city have called on residents to remain calm and confirmed that work to restore power will commence “after the shelling ends.” Novaya Kakhovka is in the southern Kherson region of Ukraine, which is currently under Russian control. The shelling comes as Kyiv prepares for a widely anticipated counter-offensive against Moscow’s forces, following a reported drone attack on a fuel depot in Russian-annexed Crimea.
Strategically located upstream from Kherson, the regional capital from which Russia withdrew last November, Novaya Kakhovka is home to the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, a significant target captured in the first hours of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The intensity of Ukrainian artillery fire in the area surrounding the dam underscores the potential for military clashes and significant disruptions to critical infrastructure in the current conflict.
The escalation of hostilities in the Southern Kherson region is yet another reminder of the dire situation unfolding in Ukraine. The international community, including the United Kingdom, has strongly condemned Russia’s aggression and called on Moscow to de-escalate the conflict. Despite diplomatic efforts by Western countries, there is little indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to withdraw his troops from Ukraine. The situation on the ground remains volatile, and the potential for further violence and escalation hangs ominously over the region.
As events continue to unfold, leaders worldwide must continue to speak out forcefully against Russian aggression, and those responsible for targeting civilians and critical infrastructure must be held accountable. The people of Novaya Kakhovka and other communities in the region deserve peace and stability, and it is up to the international community to work towards achieving that goal. The stakes are high, and time is running out.