Hammerblow for Putin as Ukraine forces blow up important cafe in morale-destroying attack

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The news comes as Ukrainian defence forces continue to push back against Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine. In spite of Russian gains in certain areas, key cities and towns in the region remain hotly contested with reports of street-to-street fighting to gain control of strategic points.

One such point was a café in the city of Kherson close to the headquarters of the self-proclaimed regional government.

The café saw 4 people injured in the explosion which was frequented by Russian soldiers in the area.

Russian officials have described the destruction of the café as a “terror attack.”

Ukraine claims the venue was being used by Russian leaders who have “had lunch there since the first days of the war.”

A statement by a Ukrainian official said: “Todayʼs explosion shows that the fight will not stop for a second or a minute.

“Kherson Oblast is Ukraine.”

Ukrainian resistance forces have also been placing “wanted” posters around the city of Kherson depicting pro-Russian leaders and figures.

According to political commentators, the posters are designed to portray Russian occupiers as murderers.

Since the start of the invasion, Kherson has been a key city dominated by Russian forces and ruled with an iron fist.

The move on the café in the city represents one of the most notable Ukrainian victories in the war.

Ukraine’s resistance movement in the occupied territories has grown rapidly in recent weeks.

It is said to be coordinated by the Special Operations Forces (SSO), a unit of Ukraine’s armed forces.

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A source, speaking of the resistance movement, told The Economist they have spent time preparing “simple local people” for action.

Last week a car bomb blast in the port city of Mariupol injured three people in what was believed to be the first major act of guerrilla warfare against Russian collaborators.

The resistance movement has perturbed the occupying forces in Kherson, locals have claimed, resulting in a renewed crackdown on dissent.

In spite of huge Russian military assets, taking large cities has proven to be a slow and costly process as guerrilla tactics slow down Russian advances.

Ukraine claims over 32,000 Russian troops have died in the conflict, with some experts suggesting a further 70,000 could be injured.

For more stories like this, follow Defence and Security Correspondent James Lee on Twitter: @JamesLee_DE

Furthermore, Russian forces have been accused of heinous war crimes across Ukraine, seeing the resistance vow to bring those to justice.

One of the posters depicting the Russians responsible for the occupation, said: “We will find every scum that has tortured our people in basements, fired rockets or directed artillery strikes.

“There will never be peace for you here.

“Death to the occupiers.”

Another aimed at Russian soldiers said “death awaits” them and that “Kherson is Ukraine”.

Others showed a map of Russia with the caption “The Russian passport isolates you from the world”, seemingly referring to an announcement by the Russian-appointed leader of Kherson Oblast that all residents in the region can now apply for Russian citizenship.

Writing in The Telegraph, Verity Brown says: “Russian troops have reportedly been authorised to shoot civilians and destroy vehicles near checkpoints in Kherson Oblast, the Ukrainian Southern Operational Command has claimed.

“They say it indicates a growing fear of Ukrainian resistance in the region and reflects the increasingly draconian measures introduced to maintain control.”



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