Southern Ukraine suffered one of the most intense shellings that the country has endured in the conflict in recent days, the UK Defense Ministry assessed in its Wednesday morning intelligence update.
The bombardments of the western side of the Dnipro River included artillery strikes on Kherson, which the UK said "remains the most consistently shelled large Ukrainian city outside of the Donbas."
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Wednesday that 89 settlements had been hit by mortar and artillery the day before.
Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine continues
"Russian Federation continues its full-scale aggression against Ukraine," said the Ukrainian military. "The enemy does not abandon its attempts to destroy Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, launching strikes on civil targets and civilian residences."
"The enemy does not abandon its attempts to destroy Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, launching strikes on civil targets and civilian residences."Ukrainian military
The military confirmed civilian casualties from the strikes on Kherson. The UK Defense Ministry said that on January 29, "local authorities reported another three civilians killed in Kherson, while two foreign-owned ships moored on the river were damaged, causing an oil spill."
Bombardment of Kherson was also done with the use of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), said the Ukrainian military. It reported 65 MLRS launches on Tuesday.
Russia confirmed the use MLRS systems, saying that their crews had fired from a considerable distance away on the east side of the Dnipro River.
According to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, its artillery and rocket crews' mission was to destroy Ukrainian artillery.
"Servicemen of the artillery regiment perform combat missions in the Kherson direction, destroying manpower and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," said the Russian Defense Ministry. "Having received a combat mission to destroy an artillery unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the right side of the Dnipro, combat crews moved to firing positions to strike at the coordinates received from the UAV units."
Russia's long-distance strikes on Ukrainian artillery come as Bloomberg reports that the United States of America is considering another massive military aid package that would include long-range artillery systems and associated ammunition – but not the long-range missile systems that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been lobbying for.
The UK Defense Ministry said that the exact reason for Russia's expenditure of its strained ammunition stocks in the recent day's mass shellings is unclear.
"However, commanders are likely partially aiming to degrade civilian morale and to deter any Ukrainian counter-attacks across the Dnipro River," said the ministry.