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Ukraine Strikes Russian-occupied City Of Melitopol

Ukrainian forces struck the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol over the weekend, the authorities said, signaling the importance of longer-range artillery in the next phase of Ukraine’s campaign to recapture land in the south of the country. The attack hit a church that was being used as a base by Russian soldiers, according to the exiled mayor of the city. A state-owned Russian news agency reported that a strike on Melitopol using a long-range HIMARS system had killed two people and wounded 10 others. Ukrainian partisans working behind Russian lines have for months launched attacks on targets around the city. Ukraine recaptured the city of Kherson in mid-November, forcing Moscow to withdraw its troops to the east bank of the Dnipro River and opening a new phase of the battle for the south of the country. But military experts caution that Ukrainian progress is likely to be slow. Russian forces have improved their defenses in the south and east of the country in recent weeks. All of Ukraine’s thermal and hydroelectric power plants have been damaged by the recent waves of Russian strikes targeting the country’s power grid, Ukraine’s prime minister said yesterday.

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