Russia-Ukraine war: Seven killed in Kherson, including 23-day-old baby girl

Seven people - including a 23-day-old baby - have been killed in Ukraine’s Kherson region.

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Seven people were killed in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region on Sunday (August 13), it has been confirmed. Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry confirmed a family had died -  including a husband, wife, 12-year-old boy and 23-day-old girl - following an artillery shelling in the village of Shiroka Balka.

Another resident was killed in the shelling while two men were killed and a woman was wounded in the neighbouring village of Stanislav. The attack on Kherson province followed Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar’s comments on Saturday (August 12) attempting to squash rumours that Ukrainian forces had landed on the occupied left (east) bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region.

The deputy defence minister said: “Again, the expert hype around the left bank in the Kherson region began. There are no reasons for excitement.”

Seven people have been killed in Ukraine’s Kherson regionSeven people have been killed in Ukraine’s Kherson region
Seven people have been killed in Ukraine’s Kherson region

Kherson regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Sunday that three people had been wounded in Russian attacks on the province on Saturday. Ukrainian military officials said on Saturday evening that Kyiv’s forces had made progress in the south, claiming some success near a key village in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and capturing other unspecified territories.

Ukraine’s General Staff said they had “partial success” around the tactically important Robotyne area in the Zaporizhzhia region, a key Russian strongpoint that Ukraine needs to retake in order to continue pushing south towards Melitopol.

“There are liberated territories. The defence forces are working,” General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukraine’s southern forces, said of the southern front.

In recent weeks, battles have taken place on multiple points along the more than 600-mile front line as Ukraine wages a counteroffensive with Western-supplied weapons and Western-trained troops against Russian forces who invaded nearly 18 months ago.

Ukrainian troops have made only incremental gains since launching a counteroffensive in early June.

Local officials in Russia reported on Sunday that air defence systems shot down three drones over the Belgorod region and one over the neighbouring Kursk region, both of which border Ukraine. Kursk governor Roman Starovoit said on Sunday that three civilians were wounded when a Ukrainian shell hit a residential building in the border village of Volfino.

Ukrainian drone strikes and shelling on Russian border regions are a fairly regular occurrence. Drone attacks deeper inside Russian territory have been on the rise since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.

In recent weeks, attacks have increased both on Moscow and on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 — a move that most of the world considered illegal.

The Wagner mercenary group has played a key role in Russia’s military campaign, but there is a “realistic possibility” that the Kremlin is no longer providing funding, according to British defence officials.

In its latest intelligence briefing, the Ministry of Defence said it believed Wagner was “likely moving towards a down-sizing and reconfiguration process” in order to save money, and that the Kremlin had “acted against some other business interests” of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The officials assessed that Belarusian authorities were the “second most plausible paymasters”.

Thousands of Wagner fighters arrived in Russian-allied Belarus under a deal that ended their armed rebellion in late June and allowed them and Mr Prigozhin to avoid criminal charges.

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