Ukraine

Why is Ukrainian port city of Kherson so important?

Kherson was captured by the Russians in early March, not long into the invasion, and has been a focus for the Ukrainians.

But why is the Ukrainian port city of Kherson so important?

The city is key due to its access to the sea – Ukraine does not currently control any port cities with such access.

Glen Grant, a senior analyst at the Baltic Security Foundation, told Forces News: "It's the only regional centre that Russia actually has captured. Most of the other places have been small towns and villages."

Kherson sits in a strategic location west of the Dnipro river, which splits Ukraine in two.

Controlling Kherson importantly would mean controlling the water supply to Russian-occupied Crimea.

Mr Grant explained its geographical significance: "It's also at the end of the canal that goes to Crimea. If you hold Kherson, you can send water down to Crimea. If you don't hold Kherson, you can't send water down to Crimea.

"And then there's a third thing which is that the troops in the south have never been the strongest. You can see that at the moment in that most of the Russian troops there are in defensive positions.

"If they do actually take Kherson, then there are going to be an awful lot of Russian soldiers in the south."