A flight of civilians from Kherson would be a blow to Russia’s claim to have annexed around 15% of Ukraine’s territory and incorporated an area the size of Portugal into Russia. Russia concentrated many of its best-trained troops to defend its hold on Kherson. western bank. But this force can only be provided from the other side of the river, which is several kilometers wide and has few crossings. Over the past two weeks, Ukraine has retaken a swath of territory, with its forces moving towards the 3km-long Nova Kakhovka Dam which provides one of the last river crossings. the top two floors of a five-story residential building were destroyed and the rest was under rubble. Video footage provided by state emergency services showed rescuers pulling out an 11-year-old boy who Kim said had spent six hours trapped under rubble. In the east, three Russian missiles exploded Thursday morning near the central market of Kupiansk, an important railroad junction town that Ukrainian forces recaptured during their big advance in September. The missiles destroyed shops, carpeted the surrounding streets with shards of glass, rubble and twisted sheet metal. steps from his shoe store to salvage whatever undamaged inventory he could from the devastated interior. month has followed rapid gains in the east since September.