Ukrainian forces have recaptured more than 40 settlements in the key southern region of Kherson, as Kyiv looks to drive back Russian troops in a counter-offensive, the local governor said Monday. Moscow seized almost all the territory of the economically and strategically important region bordering the annexed Crimea peninsula during the first days of its invasion which began on February 24. But in recent weeks the Ukrainian army, bolstered by deliveries of Western-supplied long-range artillery, have sought to stage a counter-offensive in the area. Kyiv’s forces have been carrying out strikes on Russian military warehouses and positions behind the front line and hit bridges acting as crucial supply routes for Moscow’s troops in the city of Kherson. “Today, 46 settlements have already been de-occupied in the Kherson region,” Dmytro Butriy, the head of the Ukrainian regional administration, told national TV.