Footage released today showed Ukrainian soldiers near a highway 19 miles north-west of Russian-controlled Kherson.

The location of the video was confirmed by the drainage, road layout, a small building and surrounding trees which match the file and satellite photography of the area.  A soldier in the video held a Ukrainian flag and said that the 28th separate mechanised brigade broke the first Russian line of defence and was advancing towards Kherson.

Ukrainian forces have advanced 4.3 miles in two directions in the south and captured 12 new settlements in the last 24 hours, Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Thursday.

Russia said that its forces would retreat from the west bank of the Dnipro River, which includes Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow had captured since invading Ukraine in February.

Zaluzhnyi said Ukrainian forces had advanced in the direction from Pervomaiske towards Kherson, and from Petropavlivka towards Novoraysk, roughly parallel with the Dnipro River. It was unclear which Pervomaiske he meant.  He said the territorial gains totalled 102 square miles.

An adviser to Ukraine’s president said Russia wanted to turn Kherson into a “city of death”, and accused Moscow of mining everything from apartments to sewers and planning to shell the southern Ukrainian city from the other side of the River Dnipro.