As of this writing, there are signs that Ukraine has opened major offensive operations in Kherson with fighting in at least seven locations. Kherson, a Russian army-occupied city that was once home to nearly 300,000 people, was the first Ukrainian city to fall to the Russian invasion beginning on February 24th, 2022. Since that time most of the civilians still loyal to Ukraine have fled as the Russians advanced or escaped after the occupation. There are credible reports that Russia is also forcibly relocated Ukrainian civilians inside Russian concentration camps, where those deemed loyal to Russia were released while others less inclined to support Putin and Moscow have been sent to places unknown.
The city is mostly deserted now with Russia firmly in control of the local government, the police, and local utilities. For Russia, the prize in Kherson is its port which is where river, rail, and road traffic come together at the Black Sea in the delta of the Dneiper River. The port has four large slips and it’s visited by 2,000 ships a year handling approximately 2 million tons of cargo.
Cutting Ukraine off from the port was a major blow to their economy for both imports from abroad and shipments of grain and petroleum products. It also provided Russia with a seaport to bring in troops and supplies by rail, road, and ship in offensive operations to the West towards Odesa.
For weeks now the armed forces of Ukraine have been striking at bridges across the Dneiper river to cut Russian troops in Kherson from supply and reinforcements as well as striking at stores of ammunition and supplies well to the rear.