The New York TimesThe New York Times

Targeting one southern city, Ukraine hints at next front in the war

By Marc Santora

13 Dec 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

The New York Times reports that Ukraine may be planning an offensive to retake the city known as “the gateway to Crimea”—marking what could be the beginning of a new phase of the war.

Kyiv, Ukraine — Ukraine is stepping up efforts to isolate and degrade Russian forces in and around the strategically vital city of Melitopol, ahead of what is widely expected to be the next major phase of the war, a Ukrainian offensive to drive Russian forces from southern Ukraine.

Kyiv has been using long-range precision missile strikes, sabotage missions and targeted assassinations to hone in on the city, which lies about 40 miles behind the front lines in the Zaporizhzhia region. Melitopol is known as the gateway to Crimea because of its location at the crossroads of two major highways and a crucial rail line linking Russia to that peninsula and other territory it occupies in southern Ukraine.

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