After the Ukrainian army managed to encircle and liberate the city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine a few days ago, the Ukrainian forces are advancing from several sides towards the city of Cherson in southern Ukraine.

Particularly noteworthy is the advance from the north-east along the Dnipro River.

There the Ukrainians managed, among other things, to liberate the towns of Solota Balka and Novoolexandrivka.

An advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Anton Gerashchenko, published various videos on Telegram on Monday and Tuesday, which are intended to document the liberation of the villages.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

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The Russian military blog "Rybar" even speaks of a "collapse" of the Russian front.

Accordingly, the Ukrainian units also took control of the town of Dudchany further downstream on Monday and, about 100 kilometers as the crow flies from Cherson, made further advances southwards.

According to experts, the Ukrainian armed forces are trying to advance on the Dnipro to the town of Nowa Kakhovka.

It is important both for the water supply of the Crimea and for crossing the Dnipro.

Russian troops took control of Nowa Kakhovka shortly after the start of the war.

Since Soviet times, there has been a reservoir, a hydroelectric power station and the branch to the North Crimean Canal.

In the spring, the occupiers opened the floodgates to the canal, which supplied large parts of Crimea but was drained by Ukraine after the Russian annexation of the peninsula in 2014.

The dam in Nowa Kakhovka is the only crossing over the Dnipro in this region next to the Antonivka Bridge near Kherson.

The Ukrainian army has severely damaged both structures with rocket attacks in recent weeks, making them impassable.

However, the massive dam is easier to repair and therefore the only route that the occupying Russian forces could retreat west of the Dnipro.

Western representatives, who may not be identified in more detail, state their strength at around 20,000 soldiers.

Some of them are part of the best equipped units of the invading army.

According to the source, there is an ongoing debate in the Russian military leadership over whether to withdraw troops in an orderly manner or hold the area west of the Dnipro - which is linked to the growing threat of encirclement.

For political reasons, however, a withdrawal is unlikely, after all Russia has just annexed the area in which the regional capital Cherson is located.

The situation there could become increasingly chaotic "when an increasingly desperate Russian force has its back to the river," they say.

Heavy casualties retreating from Lyman

According to the Western representatives, a similar situation arose in Lyman over the weekend and the troops paid a heavy price in blood.

Ukrainian troops approached the strategically important junction from three directions.

There, 3,000 to 5,000 Russian soldiers were in danger of being completely surrounded: elements of the 20th Combined Arms Army, the Northern Fleet and reservists.