KYIV, Ukraine — Russian and Ukrainian forces both launched strikes with long-range weapons in the south of Ukraine overnight into Saturday, apparently aiming for supply lines and antiaircraft weapons behind the front lines on both sides as the center of gravity in the fighting has shifted in recent days from the country’s east to the south.
In the central Ukrainian region of Kirovohrad, which is along Ukraine’s supply routes for the fighting in the south, Russia fired 13 missiles at a military airfield and a railroad facility, causing an unspecified number of deaths, according to a post on the Telegram social media app from Andriy Raikovych, the regional military administrator.
The strikes, fired from Russian ships in the Black Sea and from Russian airplanes, killed two security guards at an electrical substation and one soldier. Nine other soldiers were wounded, he said. The attack knocked out electrical power locally.
Russian shelling also hit in the Dnipropetrovsk region, including the town of Nikopol, according to the regional military head, Valentin Reznichenko. There was no report of injuries or deaths.
The Ukrainian forces also hit targets behind the front lines in the south, in what military analysts have suggested is a campaign aimed at softening Russian forces for a counteroffensive to recapture territory. The military said it had destroyed armored vehicles and howitzers and killed Russian soldiers with a rocket strike in the Kherson region.
The Ukrainian military intelligence agency reported in a post on Telegram that it had blown up a Russian antiaircraft gun and a rocket launcher and burned soldiers’ tents near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, in a Russian-occupied area of southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have for weeks been telegraphing their intention to start a counterattack against Russia and recapture land along the Black Sea coast that it seized in the first days of the war.
The arrival of American High Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems, or HIMARS, has extended the reach and power of Ukrainian strikes, because the rockets have a range of about 40 miles and are precision-guided. Ukraine has hit ammunition depots, command posts and a strategically important bridge over the Dnipro River, signaling that it could cut Russian supply lines to forces on the river’s west bank.
Several missiles also landed overnight in Kharkiv in northern Ukraine, the country’s second largest city, causing at least one casualty, the city’s mayor wrote on Telegram. One hit a residential building and another landed near a university, but there were no known casualties, Mayor Igor Terekhov wrote.